National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Sambo Dasuki (RTD), was on Friday in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, where he held meeting with the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, alongside elders of the state with a view to addressing the menace of the dreaded Isamic sect, Boko Haram.
Dasuki, who arrived Maiduguri on Thursday evening from neighbouring Yobe State where he held similar meeting, passed the night in the troubled state capital before holding the closed door meeting at the Government House, Maiduguri on Friday.
The two hours meeting which was attended by Shettima, his deputy, Zanna Mustapha, the Shehu of Borno, Brigadier General Abba Kyari, Comrade Ali Chiroma, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) chairman and General Mamman Shuwa (rtd), was held in the council chambers of Borno Government House.
Though the NSA had expectedly turned down journalists questions, the state governor later gave a brief account of the meeting to reporters even as he stressed that the contribution made by Borno Council of Elders, the traditional rulers and clerics will yield possible results for peace.
Speaking before the meeting, Dasuki said he was mandated by “President Goodluck
Jonathan to come to Borno and commiserate with the state and put heads together, starting with an immediate call for ceasefire while other things follow.
“I know some of the complaints, like unemployment and lack of development in the affected states in the North; all these things will not come unless there is peace.
“The Federal government will not build roads in any of the affected states in the North unless, contractors come and contractors will not come if their lives are not safe. It’s a chicken and egg thing. Unless we stop the violence, we cannot start development. Unless we start development, we cannot start generating jobs. So, there still be unemployment, which means there will always be recruits for whoever is doing this.
“But I am sure that with the meeting of the stakeholders and security agents here in Borno State, we should be able to find a way out of this. Those achievements we have recorded are not enough. We must go back to the norm so that life will flourish because I don’t think anybody can achieve anything in this condition where lives and property are daily lost and destroyed in many states of the North.”
He further explained: “I told the traditional and religious leaders, including the Governor, Alhaji Shettima, that they must take it as a challenge to reach out to our people who are responsible for this crisis. If there is a feeling of lack of trust, they cannot distrust the rulers because he will not betray them and I will not betray the traditional rulers.
“I am committed to this course and whatever the agreement reached at the closed door meeting with traditional and religious leaders, and the governor, that is what I will implement.”
Meanwhile youths in the South East zone under the umbrella of Alliance for Igbo Youths have resolved to take on the South East Governors’ Forum over what they described as the docility of the governors towards the killings of Ndigbo by Boko-Haram.
The body which said it has mobilised over 5,000 youths for a wide spread reprisal attack in the area, threatened that the governors will not be spared in the planned attack adding that not even security operatives can stop the carnage that would be unleashed on the days it would take place.
Rising from a meeting of the body held in Awka Anambra State capital, the secretary of the group, Mr. Emeka Muoneme, recalled “we have held earlier meetings with our members in Umuahia Abia State, Owerri in Imo State, Abakaliki and Enugu and each of the state chapters had made effective mobilization of youths for the mass action.
“But our worry is the manner our governors are handling this matter, most of them try to play down on the issue due to some form of selfish interest to make President Goodluck Jonathan see them as loyal and submissive.
“While the Northern leaders are tactfully propagating and executing massacring of Igbos and Christians, many of the South East governors are busy and canvassing for subjugate Federal positions for themselves.
“They are totally insensitive to the carnage and criminality happening in Northern Nigeria. It is our resolve in this meeting that the fourth coming reprisal attack would be bloody and we wish to warn that security operatives in Igbo land should stay clear in their own interest. The governors themselves would not be spared in this wide spread reprisal attack.”
Mouneme dismissed fears that the reprisal would lead to further killings of Ndigbo in the North saying “Nobody wants to run away any more. The people have chosen to die like heroes than dying like cowards.”