FG’ll Not Discuss With B’Haram From Weak Position — Adesina
WHILE re-iterating its desire to enter into any possible negotiation with Boko Haram group to end the ongoing insurgency in the Northeast, the federal government has re-stated that it would not discuss with the terrorist group from the position of weakness.
The government’s apparent change of position might have been a reaction to renewed onslaught by the members of the group in towns and villages in Borno State in recent weeks, leading to the loss of hundreds of lives in their wake.
Stating the government’s position in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation ( BBC) on Friday, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina had re-iterated that while the Federal Government was not ruling out negotiations with the sect if it would put an end to the activities of the group. He lamented that the insurgents had attacked so many villages and killed scores of people.
Adesina had told the BBC that the federal government was considering negotiations with the insurgent group? He said, “If they are willing, why not? You know attempts have been made for negotiations in the past and they didn’t work. Every reasonable person would want to see the end to this insurgency. So if they are willing, why not? You can’t rule that out.”
Providing further clarification on the government’s position in a statement yesterday Adesina said, “Most wars, however furious or vicious, often end around the negotiation table. So, if Boko Haram opts for negotiation, the government will not be averse to it. Government will, however, not be negotiating from a position of weakness, but that of strength.”
However, he expressed confidence that the machinery put in place, and which would soon be set in motion soon, could devastate and decapitate insurgency. It is multinational in nature, and relief is on the way for Nigeria and her neighbours.
His words, “President Muhammadu Buhari is resolute. He has battled and won insurgency before, he is poised to win again. It is a promise he made to Nigerians, and he is a promise keeper. But I say again, if the insurgents want to negotiate, no decent government will be averse to such. Didn’t the Taliban and Americans also negotiate in Afghanistan?”
When asked whether this would work, Adesina replied, “This is going to work. There are machineries being put in place. It’s going to work. The recent killings by the sect were meant to break our resolve, to weaken it, but that will stop. It remains a priority to him (Buhari) to deal with the group.