Government’s efforts to curtail the bombings and violent attacks by Boko Haram members suffered another setback on Sunday following the bombing of a church in Jos, Plateau State and gun attacks on another in Biu, Borno State.
But Ashiru said at the opening of a two-day ‘Regional Policy Seminar on Responsibility to Protect’ in Abuja on Monday, that the government had not given up hope.
He spoke against the backdrop of calls for foreign intervention on account of the terrorist activities, especially in the North.
Ashiru said, “I am aware of some suggestions that the situation in Nigeria with isolated internecine conflicts and current security challenge posed by Boko Haram might qualify for the application of the principle of Responsibility to Protect.
“Our response to this is simple; surely the situation does not call for the invocation of the principle of R2P since Nigeria has not lost control on the first pillar, being the responsibility of state to protect its citizens.
“While the current situation and the wanton loss of lives are deeply regrettable, the situation is not of the scale envisaged by the World Summit on R2P.
“Even on the second pillar, Nigeria has sought and is receiving the assistance of the international community, both at bilateral and multilateral levels, including the United Nations.”
The UN principle on Responsibility to protect as enshrined in Articles 138 and 139, affirms that it is the primary responsibility of a state to protect its populations from mass atrocities.
The principle also provides that if a state fails to protect its citizens from mass atrocities and peaceful means have failed to secure protection, the international community has the responsibility to intervene, with coercive measures, including use of force as a last resort.
However, Ashiru said none of the conditions envisaged by these principles existed in Nigeria.
“As regards the third pillar, none of the conditions is present in Nigeria. There is no threat of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity,” he added.
Meanwhile, the South-East chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria has declared its readiness to defend its members against any attack by Boko Haram in any church in the North.
The CAN Chairman in the zone and Anglican Bishop of Enugu, Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, said this to reporters on Monday, while reacting to Sunday’s attacks on churches in Jos and Biu.
Chukwuma said that with the recent attack on Christians and bombing of churches in northern parts of the country, South-East CAN executive committee was now convinced that Boko Haram members do not want peace.