The Arewa Youths Forum (AYF) has warned the Federal Government and the Northern Governors Forum to understand that the military option cannot solve this challenge of Boko Haram, and that it must explore every avenue to enter into dialogue with Jama’atuAhlis SunnatiLiddaAwati wal Jihad, also known as Boko Haram.
In a statement signed by its National President, Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, at the end of an emergency meeting on Saturday, ACF said that some interested parties seem to be scuttling every effort at meaningful dialogue between the government and the leadership of the sect. It called on the government and to demonstrate a high sense of sincerity and commitment in tackling the threat, noting that innocent and poor Nigerians have been at the receiving end of the assault of Boko Haram.
“The cost of maintaining security in the North is quite alarming as it goes to the detriment of core development that we are lacking,” ACF said. “It is worrisome in the sense that virtually all aspects of the most needed development are no longer feasible even in the nearest future, owing to the monumental destruction of lives; properties and our most cherished mutual way of life that hitherto existed irrespective of religion, ethnic and political inclination.”
It also called on all Northerners to note that despite differences in religion and other aspects of life, Nigerians are better off together as a single entity than their present state of division that is only in the interest of a few people.
It cited what it called the “rapid destruction of our communities as our cemeteries gradually are encroaching our homes faster even than the globally revered desert encroachment,” as opposed to efforts at purposeful development in other parts of the country.
Calling for unity, it said that without unity the North is finished in Nigeria, and that the North is facing gradual extinction.
In that regard, ACF said that it is more important to dwell on correcting its lapses and securing the future of the North than to be carried away with the politics of 2015.