The Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) has noted with satisfaction, the pronouncement by President Muhammadu Buhari that some members of the Boko Haram terrorist group are in negotiation with the Federal Government over the possibility of releasing the Chibok Secondary School girls abducted on April 14, 2014.
We recall that while briefing the press on August 4, 2015, the Executive Secretary of CCC, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas (retired) had disclosed that some Boko Haram elements approached the Centre for dialogue as a way of ending the seeming intractable insurgency in parts of the country.
While expressing support for the declaration by President Muhammadu Buhari that the Federal Government was willing to dialogue with genuine leaders of the terrorist group, the CCC believes the new position had become imperative in view of the fact that military option alone has failed to resolve the issue.
The Centre believes that there is nothing wrong in exploring and exploiting every opportunity that will lead to freeing of not only the innocent school girls but every other Nigerian under shackles of the deadly insurgents.
As we stated on August 4, 2015 on this matter, which was widely and extensively published by the media, every window of dialogue should be open but ONLY for genuine leaders or representatives of the sect who are committed to keeping to their side of the bargain.
We urge both parties to approach the said negotiation with open mind and with utmost consideration of the interest of humanity.
To Nigerians, we urge that we continue to trust and support our President even when he has to take tough decisions such as this knowing that what is upper most in his mind and in our minds is the freedom of our girls and all other captives.
The Centre views this gesture as good. It has opened a window of opportunity for dialogue for those insurgents that are willing and ready to lay down their arms. This position is predicated on calls made to this Centre by some members of the Boko Haram requesting for genuine and comprehensive dialogue that could lead to hundreds of them coming out to renounce their membership.
We want to note that none of the suspected Boko Haram elements that spoke with the CCC asked for any form of monetary inducement or compensation as a pre-condition for laying down their arms. In fact, many of them said that they were simply tired of fighting and being fugitives in a war that they were deceived into joining.
Nevertheless, the Centre will continue to support and encourage all efforts towards bringing insurgency to an end in our country.
Air Commodore Yusuf Anas
Centre for Crisis Communication
PRNigeria News Release
Boko Haram Elements Reach Out for Dialogue- CCC (August 4, 2015)
The Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) which is an independent Non-Governmental Organisation, has revealed that some Boko Haram elements have approached it for dialogue as a way of ending the seeming intractable insurgency in parts of the country
Executive Secretary of the Centre, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas (retired) who addressed the press on sundry national issues including terrorism, cattle rustling, National Assembly crisis, pipeline vandalism, kidnapping, armed robbery, Radio Biafra among others said he and his team were already in the process of facilitating a meeting with relevant government agencies.
While expressing support for the declaration by President Muhammadu Buhari that the Federal Government was willing to dialogue with genuine leaders of the terrorist group, Anas said the new position has become imperative in view of the fact that military option alone has failed to resolve the issue.
“The Centre however suggests that such dialogue should be done with every sense of caution and responsibility bearing in mind the previous disappointments that attended attempts at negotiations.
“Considering the unspeakable atrocities which the group has visited on Nigeria and Nigerians, this option is no doubt a hard sell. However, the recent statement by President Muhammadu Buhari on government’s readiness to negotiate with credible members of the sect has rekindled the hope for dialogue.
“The Centre views this gesture as good. It has opened a window of opportunity for dialogue for those insurgents that are willing and ready to lay down their arms. This position is predicated on calls made to this Centre by some members of the Boko Haram requesting for genuine and comprehensive dialogue that could lead to hundreds of them coming out to renounce their membership.
“Nevertheless, the Centre will continue to support and encourage all efforts towards bringing insurgency to an end in our country,” he stated.
On the lingering National Assembly crisis, the CCC appealed to all the contending individuals, groups or parties to ‘shield their swords’ in the national interest “knowing how far-reaching and negative effect political crisis of this dimension could continue to be in inflaming passions, creating divisive tendencies, and ultimately translating in crisis.”
He then urged the legislators to take the lead of President Buhari and slash their remunerations to demonstrate to Nigerians that they are also sympathetic to the current financial challenges of the nation and ready to make sacrifices to make Nigeria better.
On non-payment of salaries by some state governments, the Centre declared “nothing breeds crisis more than the injustice of workers being denied wages and entitlements. Public servants who toil for governments and the nation deserve salaries at the end of the month. Failure to guarantee this basic obligation on the part of any state government is a sure recipe for crisis, i.e. crisis at home, schools, at the workplace and generally in the society.”
He then implored the affected states and indeed other states to be more ingenious and judicious in handling their finances to avoid potential source of crisis in the future.
Speaking on the issue of cattle the CCC boss said it has reached an alarming proportion as it always precipitates bloody clashes leaving scores of people dead in different parts of the country especially in Taraba, Plateau, Benue, Kaduna, Nassarawa, Niger and other states over grazing rights.
“This recurring but often violent crisis perpetrated by unknown hoodlums has continued to traumatize innocent and enterprising Nigerians engaged in cattle rearing and farming.
“The crisis is perhaps accentuated by the economic hardship and joblessness. The Centre has received hundreds of calls from several parts of the north over this issue. Instances abound where hoodlums send letters to cattle breeders especially Fulanis and farmers to pay hundreds of thousands of naira or even millions as ransom to avert attacks.”
He commended Governor Nasir El-Rufai for his efforts in this regard and in setting up the ‘Cattle Initiative’ to fight against cattle rustlers in Kaduna, which has already recorded huge successes with the recent recovery of over 2000 cows in different locations in Kaduna state.
“The Centre is calling on governments at all levels to ensure every action aimed at finding lasting solution are put in place to enable the return of normalcy in the nooks and corners of our communities.
“The Centre believes that more discussions and legislative actions at the states and National Assembly levels are needed now on the propriety or otherwise of creating or delineating grazing areas in the country.”
The CCC said it was agitated by recent attempts to resurrect the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) with the arrow head being Mr. Government Tompolo along with some Ijaw youth.
“Since the inception of the Amnesty Programme billions of Naira has been and is still being spent to address the Youth challenges of the region”, it noted and commended the appointment of Brigadier General Peter Boroh (Rtd) which it said will energize the amnesty programme.
“If there are genuine grievances with the Amnesty programme, legitimate avenues and appropriate channels should be exploited. However, the full wrath of the law should be brought to bear on any individual or group that wants to engineer crisis aimed at militating against the socio-economic development of our dear nation.”
August 4, 2015