July 2nd, 2012
NSA Initiating Contacts With Boko Haram, Christian Militias
The new National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, has initiated moves to reach out to the leadership of Jam’atu Alissunnah Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad, better known as Boko Haram, on how to achieve real and purposeful dialogue.
A source told SaharaReporters this afternoon in Abuja that the efforts also involve some militia in the Middle Belt axis and Southern Kaduna area, where persistent violence continues to pose a threat to the stability of the country.
The source said that Sambo’s trip to Maiduguri, Damaturu and Potiskum are in that bid.
“He has set up strategies on how to reach the Boko Haram sect, using several strong contacts in the areas he visited. And in the Middle-Belt he is working with his old military allies and in Southern Kaduna to fully find a way for cease fire now.”
The source added that apart from open meetings he had with government officials of Borno and Yobe States, they also met behind closed doors to work out concrete modalities on how to reach out to the sect. He also said that the NSA and the Governors of Yobe and Borno have reached an understanding on the issue as well as the others people to be involved.
Below is the full address of Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, before his closed-door meeting with Dasuki.
It is a great pleasure for me to welcome, on behalf of the Government and good people of of Yobe State, our distinguish guest, the National Security Adviser, (NSA), Col. S. I. Dasuki Fss, Mss, Bss, PSC (+) and members of his entourage to the Government House Damaturu.
2. Let me seize this Opportunity to thank the National Security Adviser for deciding to make the trip to Yobe State and pay a courtesy call to the Damaturu Government House as one of his first official engagement on assumption of office, May I use this medium to congratulate Col S. I. Dasuki’s training distinguished Military career, national and international exposure in security policy strategies coupled with the personal qualities of dedication, determination, sincerity and balance sense of judgment, Mr. President has undoubtedly made the right choice at the right time when the country is in a very serious state of security challenges.
I have no doubt in my mind that he will bring his wealth of experience and expertise to bear on the charge of his responsibilities. I wish him Allah’s guidance and protection in the task ahead.
3. your Excellency, our distinguished visitor, invited guest, ladies and gentlemen, I wish to thank, Mr. President and Commandant In- Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic Of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for sending his recently appointed National Security Adviser to sympathize with the Government and people of Yobe state over the series of unfortunate and sad incidents which culminated in loss of innocent lives and destruction of property worth millions of Naira. This is a clear change of strategy in the fight against insecurity as promised by Mr. President. There is an indication that our hopes, pride and identity as citizens of this great country would be restored. Only last week I had the privilege to receive the Deputy Inspector General of Police Force Headquarters, Alhaji Atiku Kafur on a courtesy visit as timely and commendable. It is a further demonstration of the commitment of the Federal Government to take all measures and explore all avenues that could restore peace in the State in particular and the nation in general.
4. Our august visitor may wish to note that last week’s incident was the fourth major attack on Damaturu in less than one year with the last one occurring just the day before yesterday. I must confess that the roles played by our security operatives in facing the security challenges in the State have been very impressive. The security forces have demonstrated a high level of inter- agency cooperation which they should keep up. It is in view of this that, I wish to particularly commend the leader of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Col. Dahiru Abdulsalam for his gallantry, demonstration of an exemplary conduct and professionalism, sense of purpose and diligence have reflected on the performance of the Joint Task Force. The Commander along with other members of his team are deserving of special commendation. Their dedication, commitments and selfless sacrifice have no doubt contributed remarkably in reducing loss of lives and destruction of property as well as in restoring the relative peace in the state. I therefore urge them not to relent in their efforts and continue to demonstrate the act of courage and patriotism in discharging their responsibilities.
5. at this juncture, there is a need for me to disabuse people’s mind of false impression being created as if the situation in Yobe State is that of an attack by the Muslim population against the Christians. This is totally unfounded as the attacks cut across all religious inclinations with Churches, as well as public building buildings like schools including Islamiyyah and Government vehicles destroyed. Furthermore, most of the people of Yobe State and other Nigerians to disregard such baseless rumours, continue to pray for restoration of peace in the State and the nation at large.
6. the present administration of Yobe State strongly believes that issue of security is a collective responsibility and feels that it should not be left to the Federal security agencies alone. Taking this into consideration and in order to complement the effort of the Federal Government, our administration since inception in 2007, has donated over 180 Hilux 4WD vehicles to the Police and other security agencies making it possible for most of these vehicle have modern communication gadgets installed on them. In addition to this, the sum of over 40minllion is being expended monthly as Ration Cash Allowance (RCA) for officers and men of Police and their logistics. It is not out of place to inform the NSA that from the time Mr. President declared the state of emergency in some parts of the country including Yobe, an estimated sum of about N1.2 billion has been spent to date.
7. in view of the new security challenges, I wish to call on the Federal Government through this medium, to introduce more welfare packages to boost the morale of our security operatives through special welfare [packages in the event of death, injury or accident while on duty. This will no doubt go a long way in improving the performance of our security agencies. Training and retraining should also be stepped up as well as provision of modern sophisticated equipment particularly for detecting improvised explosive devices (IED’s). These will make them physically and mentally fit and combat ready at all times in facing any challenge.
8. your Excellency, our distinguished visitor, ladies and gentlemen let me take this opportunity to make a special request to the Federal Government. Considering the serious security challenges in the State, I wish to appeal for the deployment of more troops to the State to complement efforts of those on the ground and particularly deployed of full Joint Task Force comprising all security agencies so as to enable them tackle the security challenges more effectively.
In addition, I will also urge the Army authorities to hasten the occupation of the Army barrack at Kuka-Reta which has recently been provided with amenities like water and electricity. I wish to assure the National Security Adviser that the State Government is always ready and willing to collaborate with the Federal Government in areas that could bring lasting peace in the State.
9. before concluding this address, let me share with the National Security Adviser an opinion I have expressed earlier on the current security challenges. In as much as Government has th power and the sacred duty to protect lives and property of the citizen whenever they come under threat, if one considers the colossal collateral damage these confrontations bring about due to the unconventional methods of the insurgents, the option of resolution though dialogue and negotiation should be pursued as a priority. We are therefore in support of any move towards negotiated settlement provided the insurgents are willing to accept the call for dialogue.
10. finally, I wish to assure our august visitor that the State Government shall continue to render every assistance and support to the security agencies to enable them perform their duties effectively and efficiently. I wish to, once again, welcome the National Security Adviser and members of his entourage to Yobe State and thank them for this historic visit and safe journey to their next destination.
Thank you and May Almighty Allah bless us all.