Despite initial flaks that greeted the Federal Government’s opposition to the designation of the dreaded Islamist sect, Boko Haram, as an international terrorist organization, prominent Nigerians and public opinion analysts are totally in support of the Federal Government’s decision to dialogue with the sect.
They believe that the dialogue could bring the much desired peace in the country.
Among the advocates of dialogue is an Owerri-based legal luminary and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Barr D.C. DeNwigwe.
Baring his mind to Christian Voice recently on the issue, Barr. De Nwigwe admonished the sect which had claimed responsibility for series of bomb attacks on churches and public buildings, mainly in the Northern region, to embrace the peace initiative.
DeNwigwe, who once described the Boko Haram sect as a bunch of criminals who had no clear-cut agenda, said that in other climes, criminals are wise enough to know when to capitulate, regretting that in Nigeria the reverse is the case.
He said that if the insurgents and their sponsors rebuff the Federal Government again, the President would not be blamed in the event of any ugly consequences upon them.
Speaking also, a university don, and head of the Department of Mass Communication, Imo State University, Prof Victor C. Koga, said that he subscribes totally to dialogue if it would bring the much needed peace in Nigeria. “I subscribe 100% to that.” The Professor implored other Nigerians to support the government of President Goodluck Jonathan in its drive to bring peace, adding that no nation can thrive in the absence of peace.
The Imo State Chairman of the Labour Party, Barr. C.S. Osuji, said there is need for dialogue with the sect. He said dialogue would unearth the root causes of the problems. According to the state party boss, since the inception of the present Federal Government, the country has never known peace, occasioned by the incessant insurgency and restiveness in some parts of the country.
He said this is not the first time any government would negotiate with a warring party, adding that the federal government had brokered peace with the Nigeria Delta militants and the Odua People’s Congress (O.P.C) in the past.
Reminded that Boko Haram had rebuffed the friendly offer, both Barr. Osuji and Prof. Koga said that federal government should go ahead in its peace drive, adding that the outcome would determine the next line of action.
The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who led a delegation to Nigeria recently had discussed the insurgency with the Federal Government which was reluctant to brand the sect as an international terrorist organization fearing the negative economic consequences on the nation.
National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki spoke of the federal government’s preparedness to dialogue with the group.
Those who oppose the dialogue say the sect is faceless, but analysts believe that the dialogue could reveal the identity of the sect members and their sponsors.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) insists that it was illogical for the federal government to dialogue with the group.