Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has appointed the former Chief of Defence Staff, LT General Martin Luther Agwai, as Chairman of a security committee set up by the state government to recommend ways to stamp out attacks on communities in the southern part of the state.
According to a statement issued on Saturday by the Governor’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, the committee is part of the government’s multidimensional approach in finding lasting solutions to the killings in the area, which have continued since the post-election violence of 2011.
The committee’s terms of reference are to identify the socio-political and economic factors that promote existing conflicts in Southern Kaduna and advise on measures to be taken by the government to address them,
The committee will also explore ways of finding mutual solutions that engender reconciliation between communities in Southern Kaduna and also advise the government on how the villages and communities of Southern Kaduna would be free from attacks bedevilling it.
It has 30 days to complete its assignment and submit its report.
The chairman of the committee, Mr Agwai, is presently serving as a United Nations envoy in Sudan.
A public affairs analyst, Mahmud Othman on Tuesday said President Goodluck Jonathan last week missed an opportunity to deal with the real issue surrounding the increasing waves of insecurity in Northern Nigeria when he visited Borno and Yobe States.
Mr Othman, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said rather than listen to the advice of the Borno Elders, who have first-hand knowledge of the real issue surrounding the Boko Haram insurgency, President Jonathan sounded combative in his response to them.
He said what the elders told the president “was an honest assessment of the situation on ground because they are the people there.” But rather than listen to them, the analyst said the president blamed them for the insurgency.
“It’s like blaming the victim for a crime committed,” he said.
He said, “If the Federal Government is really interested in peace that is not the way to handle the situation. Mr President, with all due respect, sounded very combative as if there was some kind of template he was reproducing without editing.”
Watch the video below for the complete interview with Mr Othman:
Contrary to claims by President Goodluck Jonathan that members of the extremist group, Boko Haram are faceless, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai on Tuesday said the president knows who leaders of the group were.
Mr El-Rufai, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said the Federal Government knows much more about the sect then what they are letting out to the public.
The former minister said, “I think President Jonathan knows the leaders of Boko Haram because at one point he said that Boko Haram members are in his government. Who are those members that have infiltrated his government?”
Speaking at a town hall meeting last week during his visit to Damaturu, Yobe State, one of the areas worst hit by terror attacks, President Jonathan said granting amnesty to Boko Haram members was unlikely for now because members of the group have remained “ghosts” with no one coming forward to admit membership of the sect.
“You cannot declare amnesty for ghosts. Boko Haram still operates like ghosts. So, you can’t talk about amnesty for Boko Haram now until you see the people you are discussing with. When you call the Niger Delta militants, they will come; but nobody has agreed that he is Boko Haram; no one has come forward. If amnesty can solve the situation, then no problem, but nobody has come forward to make himself visible,” the president had said.
A former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai on Tuesday said he supports the creation of community police as a means of dealing with the raising waves of insecurity in Nigeria.
Mr El-Rufai, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said once the States and Local Government councils are allowed to have their own police, the government should then review the country’s criminal law and categorise crimes into Federal, state and local.
He said, “I think a large percent of security begins with the community. If you can make the community secure, you are less likely to have crimes at the state level and federal level. If you can make states secure, you are less likely to have crimes at federal level.
Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai on Tuesday said that President Goodluck Jonathan should listen to the advice from the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar and the Borno Elders Council on how to deal with the militant insurgence in Northern Nigeria.
Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr El-Rufai said rather than dismiss the call of the Sultan to declare amnesty for members of extremist group, Boko Haram, President Jonathan should consider the carrot and stick approach in quelling terrorism.
He said, “The government should have an open mind to exploring every solution. If the Sultan of Sokoto speaks, I think people should take what he says with a little bit more seriousness than be dismissive.
“When the Borno Elders, including people that were ministers when President Jonathan was wearing napkin, people like that should be listened to and whatever they suggest should be explored.”
Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai has accused the Federal Government of wanting the Boko Haram insurgency to continue for selfish reasons.
Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr El-Rufai faulted President Goodluck Jonathan’s statement suggesting that members of the Boko Haram group are ghosts.
He said, “over a thousand Boko Haram operatives are in the custody of the SSS here in Abuja,” hence the Government cannot claim to not know who the terrorists are. He added that he knows the government has a lot of information about the Islamist group.
“What is lacking is the will to address this issue. I think the government just wants this to continue because it is profitable for the security agencies to have huge budgets, most of which is stolen.” He said.
The former minister also said that the government which has over time requested the help of people such as himself, the Sultan of Sokoto and the Borno Elder’s Council, in talking to the extremist group has also accused them of being ‘Boko Haram Sympathisers.’
Watch the video below for the complete interview with Mr El-Rufai
An Abuja based Security Consultant, Max Gbanite, while speaking on the Security Situation in Nigeria, said that President Goodluck Jonathan should have challenged the Borno Elder’s Council instead of making a comment, he deemed inappropriate.
He said on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise daily, that “the situation in North East (Nigeria) is deteriorating and we need to act fast and the president needs to act faster.”
Mr. Gbanite who commended the President for visiting Borno, described the killing of the foreign hostages held by the Ansaru sect as appalling and said it is indicative of the commitment of the group to their cause, which is the destabilization of the country.
“This is unacceptable,” he said. “We must collectively stop this from happening… therefore; we need the international cooperation that is required …for the team of Nigerian JTF to be able to do their work effectively.”
He maintained that the members of the Borno Elders Council know who the Boko Haram members are and that the Federal Government should have challenged the council to tell their sons to surrender their arms as opposed to telling them that the government cannot deal with ghosts.
He stated that President Jonathan’s comment indicates that the JTF has been killing people other than Boko Haram members, this he blamed on the President’s advisers.