by Hauwa Gambo
First the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, was reported to have promised a Boko Haram ceasefire by the Ramadan prayers, and then soon enough he was denying that statement. But then there’s more where that came from, even as he continues to insist that dialogue with the violent organisation is the only way forward.
Speaking on Wednesday in Jos, he sought to assure Nigerians by revealing that he has the numbers of Boko Haram leaders, according to Premium Times.
“I was in Yobe and Borno States last week and I have got the telephone numbers and contacts of key Boko Haram members and I will meet with them.
“I saw the dangerous effect of Boko Haram in these states and what I saw was pathetic.
“But I have the mandate to put heads together with religious and traditional leaders as well as the state governments to ensure an immediate ceasefire,” Mr. Dasuki said.
According to him, he is in Plateau State for on-the-spot assessment of the security challenge and in furtherance of the Federal Government’s peace efforts, particularly across the northern part of the country.
He expressed confidence that the people of Plateau could put their problems behind them and forge ahead with genuine peace and reconciliation.
“I have a stake in Plateau because I have lived in Pankshin and Jos when my father resided here. So if we lived peacefully way back then, it is possible to go back to those good old days.
“Before now, it is difficult for me to believe that you can see a Fulani and Berom man together on the street of Plateau fighting.
“But the presence of various ethnic and religious groups at this parley is a pointer to the fact that we want to forge ahead.”
In his remarks, Governor Jonah Jang said he regrets that the emergency rule in the state had not achieved the intended effect as the attacks on the affected local government areas have continued unabated.
On dialogue with Boko Haram, Mr. Jang said that it is difficult to dialogue with the group since its leaders and members are not known.
He therefore urged the group to come out and identify itself.
“We only hear that Boko Haram claims responsibility for this and that attack but we never heard anybody coming out to say he is Boko Haram.
“We know the Niger Delta militants had leaders and a cause they were fighting for which made late President Yar’Adua to succeed with the amnesty programme. But, who is Boko Haram?”
Apparently, Dasuki has the answer to that.