Senate Leader urges Northern leaders to negotiate with Boko Haram

The belated condemnation by northern leaders of the attacks by the Boko Haram sect is not enough as the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, wants them to go into negotiation with members of the sect just as leaders in the Niger Delta did to militants a few years ago.

Once political and religious leaders and the elites in the North go into negotiation with the terrorist group, the end to insurgency will come, Ndoma-Egba stated in an interview in Calabar, even as he appealed to the insurgents to lay down their arms and go into dialogue with the authorities.

The admonition came just as the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC), Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, described the spate of killings, bombings and general insecurity in the country as a national tragedy.

Ndoma-Egba said those who have taken up arms against the state were not ghosts hence their kinsmen should call them to a dialogue to ascertain their grievances and what should be done as the onslaught in the North-east was getting out of hand and capable of escalating, a development he noted would cause more problems for the country.

“One of my colleagues, Senator Brigidi gave up his re-election bid to negotiate with the Niger Delta militants.
He was the go-between government and the militants. It is to his credit that the militants embraced the amnesty announced by the federal government. And today, there is peace in that region.
“I expect leaders in the North to do the same. They should go beyond condemnation. Let them look for leaders of this notorious sect by negotiating with them. The killings they carry out have become unbearable. We watched a video footage by personnel of the State Security Service (SSS) and saw how Boko Haram members were slitting the throats of policemen. One policeman fainted before it got to his turn,’’ he said.
Ndoma-Egba said it was wrong to put the whole blame for the escalating insurgency on President Goodluck Jonathan because security was everybody’s business and challenged emirs, district heads, political office holders, youth leaders, women leaders to rise to the occasion by fishing out Boko Haram members and talking to them with a sense of patriotism.