The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor has noted with concern the statement credited to Senator Abba Bukar Ibrahim, a two time governor of Yobe State that government must dialogue with the Boko Haram sect for peace to be restored.
Bukar Ibrahim, who is now a senator, also insisted that the reason for the action of the sect was inequality, neglect and injustice.
Pastor Oritsejafor described the statement by the senator as “overly reckless, irresponsible and insensitive”, and noted that it was capable of encouraging the increasingly violent sect to be even more daring.
In a press release signed by his Media aide, Mr Kenny Ashaka, yesterday, in Abuja, the CAN president said that it was naïve for Senator Ibrahim to reason that if the Federal Government dialogued with Boko Haram, the sect would limit itself to concessions made even when they had stated that their aim was to do away with western education and enthrone the Islamic law of Sharia’a.
Oritsejafor advised Senator Bukar Ibrahim not to make recommendations that were short-sighted and avoid taking counsel from only a section of a state or region.
The CAN president said that he expected Senator Bukar Ibrahim to help put the sect in strict subjection to the laws of the land, rather than treading the dangerous path of dialogue which has always been truncated by harsh conditions from the sect members.
According to him, Senator Ibrahim must bear a heavy responsibility for the spiraling violence of Boko Haram against Christians in Yobe State if he now speaks of inequality, neglect and injustice, which were direct consequences of the neglect of the people by those who govern them, himself a two-time governor of Yobe State, inclusive.
“If, today, the people are fighting biting poverty, inequality and injustice as Senator Ibrahim would want us to believe, it is his likes that should be held responsible for being the sources of their poverty. In that case, Boko Haram’s anger should have been directed at leaders like Senator Bukar Ibrahim who had not allowed his people to take full advantage of the vast economic opportunities that exist in Northern Nigeria.
“It is hypocritical for Senator Bukar Ibrahim to now make the country and her citizens to pay a heavy price for their ineptitude. In fact, apart from the extremist ideology of Boko Haram, I am tempted to believe that Senator Ibrahim’s statement is also a confirmation that the increasing violence in the north is a sponsored revolt to pressure the Federal Government into making huge regional concessions.
“The Federal Government should, therefore, not succumb to blackmail from any quarters on account of the Boko Haram issue but should remain focused in dealing with the sect members in accordance with the laws of the land. It is worrisome that a Senator of the status of Ibrahim rather than pursue a secularist ideology on which the survival and stability of this country depends, is giving an advice that favours Boko Haram, a sect that has killed many Christians, bombed and burnt Churches. I am shocked that Senator Ibrahim is not worried by the growing killings of Christians in his home state, Yobe, where five Christians, including their pastor were killed on Christmas day.
“Few days after these killings and burning of 20 houses, Senator Ibrahim is only concerned with government’s dialogue with the sect members.
“I believe that elders in the north, especially those in the North East zone hold the key to the cessation of violence in the region and should begin to discuss how to end the unprovoked attacks on Christians and heir Churches,” Oritsejafor said.