by Isi Esene
The president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, has faulted the Federal Government’s decision to engage in unconditional dialogue with the Boko Haram Islamic sect.
The cleric expressed his reservations yesterday in Akure, Ondo State at a meeting of the national executive council of the Association.
According to the respected clergy man, the government has no basis to dialogue with Boko Haram since the militant sect have not shown readiness to lay down their arms and toe the line of peace. He said the Amnesty programme initiated and promoted by the former President Yar’Adua was pursued only after the Niger Delta militants agreed to cease-fire.
“Life is about dialogue, wars never solve problem, I am not saying dialogue is not good but there must be basis for it, people are dying everyday as a result of the attacks of the sect, yet the Federal Government is opting for dialogue, it is puzzling to me.
“The whole concept is wrong. Why should we compensate murderers? To pay money to those who killed innocent souls? What happened to the families of their victims? Who will take care of the widows and orphans after they had killed their breadwinners?
“I am not speaking against the Muslims but these people are giving the Muslim religion bad names, so something must be done, there must be conditions before the government will enter into dialogue with them.”
He reportedly insisted that it is only after these conditions are observed that “we can talk of meaningful dialogue”.
He declared the negotiations as an exercise in futility because the Islamic fundamentalists are “enjoying robust supports from some powerful, influential and wealthy leaders. Discussing with such people would be merely a waste of time.”
He went on to advise Nigerians to remain vigilant of activities going on in their immediate environment, maintaining that prayer is the only way to tackle the evil of insecurity in the country.
Oritsejafor concluded by spiritually addressing the masterminds of the violence saying, “Those who are sponsoring the terrorists, God will bring them down as David brought down Goliath, we believe the time has come they will be ashamed.”