FG Must Parley Now With Boko Haram-Shehu Sanni By TheNEWS

Shehu Sanni
By Femi Adi/Kaduna

Comrade Shehu Sani, Kaduna-based author and activist, tells FEMI ADI how the Boko Haram menace could be ended.

What is your understanding of Boko Haram’s lethal campaign?

Since the Boko Haram insurgency began, people in the country and outside have expressed different views. While some say Boko Haram is a western design to destroy Nigeria, others say the group emerged as a result of poverty and prolonged years of underdevelopment in the northern part of the country. And there are those who say Boko Haram is a product of the northern political establishment, which set it up to fight President Goodluck Jonathan, a southern Christian. Yet, others say Boko Haram started as a tool of the political establishment in the North-east that was later abandoned. Certain people prefer a spiritual explanation, describing the group as the manifestation of an evil spirit. A strand of the analyses holds up Boko Haram as a continuation of the bigotry, extremism and religious intolerance that is common in the North and link the group to al-Qaeda. There are those who believe that Boko Haram’s anger was sparked by the extra-judicial killing of its members in 2009. In the last three years, almost every Nigerian has become a commentator or expert on Boko Haram. But we need to separate the myth from reality. A typical northerner’s understanding of Boko Haram is different from that of a southerner. What many don’t know is that there are many Islamic sects in the northern part of the country. Boko Haram is not even a major sect. But for the fact that it has picked up arms to fight the state, it is better known nationally and internationally. We have the Quadriyya, Tijaniyya, Shi’a, Sunni, Ahmadiyya, Izala and many other sects. I believe that if the same treatment meted out to the Boko Haram leaders had been meted to them, they would have responded in a worse way. For now, it’s good for us to separate the reality from the myth. I have always believed those from the South don’t know the religious and political dynamics of the people of the North and that is why it is easy, if you live in Lagos or Port-Harcourt or in the Diaspora, after you have sipped a hot cup of coffee or orange juice, you conclude your analysis by suggesting that Boko Haram should be crushed by all means. For a Nigerian in Kano, Maiduguri or other northern states, which has witnessed Boko Haram’s terror, the view may be different. And this not because he’s in support of Boko Haram or sympathetic to the sect. It’s different in the sense that the Nigerian security forces have proved incapable of protecting the lives of Nigerians and have also proved incapable of fighting the sect. This confusion is not only limited to the ordinary people, but also to the people in the position of power. Boko Haram started as a non-violent Islamic group and has been campaigning for an Islamic state and proper implementation of Sharia, which they preach and propagate in their mosques and schools. There are hundreds of sects in the North that also engage in such, but the difference is that Boko Haram has picked up arms against the state.

Most people do not understand what the demands of the group are.

Going by their statements, we know that they have been asking for the release of their members from detention. They have also been raising issues about the percieved injustice meted to them in 2009 and nobody did anything about it. There is also the contentious issue of Islamisation of the country. As an insurgent group, it should be obvious to them that not all their demands are achievable no matter the number of people bombed. One thing that is very clear, an Islamised Nigeria cannot happen even if they bomb as many people as they want. But some of their demands can be brought to the table if there is genuine peace parley like the one to which I took former President Obasanjo last September and the one between the federal government and Dr. Datti Ahmed. You could see the emphasis on the release of their wives, children and members who have been in police cells and prisons for a long time. As for me, all I will need is a commitment from the government, with a guarantee from the group that if such demands are met, they will stop what they are doing. But right from the start, there was no effort by anyone to ensure that the demand for release of their members are met.

Is the bombing of innocent people the appropriate way of pressing home their demands?

No. But if a country is faced with these kind of terror attacks, there are measures you can adopt. The first option is the use of force to crush the group before it gets out of hand. If that was working, I would have been the first to support it. But I am living in the North and you are interviewing me here in the North. When I see our security men only protecting their houses, homes and children, when I see security forces sometimes running away after a bomb blast and hiding, I do not think that I can put my trust in them to end terror. If you’re in a city like Kano or Kaduna, you’ll see heavy presence of security men at police stations, commissioners’ homes, military barracks or in areas where top government functionaries are or reside. If these are the people being protected by security agencies, how can an ordinary man who is vulnerable to Boko Haram attack advocate that the use of force is the solution? As I said, if you don’t live within the firing zone, you could air views that do not reflect what is on ground. We can use force if it will end it. But the force used over years has not ended the insurgence. The strategy used by security agents is such that if a bomb goes off in a certain district, everybody living there is punished for it. Is that the kind of force that we should advocate? A guerilla insurgency of this kind comes with a very heavy price. To get at one Boko Haram member, you may end up bringing down more than twenty innocent lives. Killings and violence are not things we can easily swallow as a country.

What do you have to say about the recent attacks on the media?

The simultaneous attacks on ThisDay in Abuja and Kaduna are a condemnable and repressive act. It is an affront to freedom of speech. It is also one act that is most detrimental to whatever cause the group has been fighting because no group fights the media and succeeds. However, I will also make it very clear that the group has a policy of issuing warnings. And if it issued warnings, it behoves on the government to protect such institutions. But it didn’t happen. There were more than twenty of such threats to the media before the attacks. They had said if the media remains subjective, they would hit them. I expect a responsible government to have taken it seriously and provided protection for the media houses before the unfortunate attacks. But the people they are protecting are the members of their families. The government can protect police stations, government agencies, but not media houses. And I believe that it is the government that has the responsibility to maintain law and order, keep peace and protect people from terror attacks. It is annoying that the only thing you hear after any bomb attack is condemnation. The Senate, House of Representatives and Presidency will condemn it, but nothing will be done until another person is attacked. Condemnation is good, but I believe in a proactive engagement with the group in the interest of peace. When you have a dysfunctional government, we are not secure as a people. One thing that the Boko Haram has been able to expose is the inability of government to provide security for its citizens. It has also exposed the long years of weakness, corruption and neglect of the Nigerian state. What matters most to those in government is political power and acquisition of wealth.

What solution would you suggest, given the potency of Boko Haram’s threat to the progress of the North and corporate existence of the country?

Three things. The first is to reach out to Dr. Datti Ahmed for talks since members of the group trust him as one who could mediate between the sect and federal government. Religious and political leaders should also reach out to him for rounds of talks in order to get a lasting ceasefire. The second thing we should do is to look for the leaders of different Islamic sects in the North to come together and directly reach out to Boko Haram as a group. All should come together and offer guarantees and reach out directly to Boko Haram. The third option is the use of force. But, as I said, it comes with a lot of consequences. Most of the meetings over the insecurity in the North are held far away from the action spot. I want to make my mark and contribute to finding a solution to the problem of Boko Haram.

Why did talks between the government and Dr. Datti break down?

Two reasons. The first one was that the talks were meant to be confidential and the outcome made to public later, but government betrayed the agreement for secrecy. Secondly, the talks were supposed to be productive in terms of ensuring that both sides hold on to the commitments. But right from the beginning, some elements within the Jonathan administration made sure that every detail of the discussion was leaked to the public. Also, there seems to be a sense of unwillingness on side of government to give in to the demands of the sect for release of its members and guarantee their security. If I was in government, I would divide Boko Haram detainees into three. The first would be the high profile targets,who are their leaders in prisons. The second would be the foot soldiers and the third category would be their wives and children and innocent people arrested on the streets in the name of Boko Haram. As a responsible government you can, as a kind gesture, release the lowest category and see what the group will do. But when nothing is done, it becomes a serious problem. All that is done now is to wait for a bomb and condemn the act. This is quite unfortunate and retrogressive.

 

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You guys are the real boko

You guys are the real boko haram traying to hide under the name foooools

STOP THE MADNESS .... DONT NEGOTIATE WITH THOSE FOOLS

Please do not negotiate with those fools. They just want attention and will never negotiate in good faith. And besides, what will you negotiate with illitrate idiots who will turn around and claim ignorance anyway ??. Stop the madness. Ignore these fools. The more paper and ink wasted reporting their attrocities, the more justified they feel. These are not human beings like you and I. The only thing that feed them is violence. We can learn to live by it since we dont expect those clowns to keep their word anyway. The idea that you can actually talk to those idiots is illusive.

Sani Boko Haran spokes man

Comrade Shehu Sani how are they paying you? it it IBB, or Buhari or Ciroma that is paying the money? Idiot

You fool! Check your facts.

You fool! Check your facts. Boko haram started way before Jonathan contested for the presidency.

BIBLE READING continued

Mat 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Mat 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

Mat 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Security Alert - Military Coup Imminent (1)


1. Imminent release of names of Boko Haram Sponsors
2. Ultimatum of 78 hours by Boko Haram to President Jonathan.

The above two incidents are related and should be taken seriously. The Northern Islamic cabal is desperate and very very dangerous at this moment. The ultimatum is related to a MILITARY COUP to be carried out by Boko Haram members in the Nigerian Army in Lagos and Abuja and of course the North. Blood shed in the military like in 1966 counter coup is imminent.

It is planned that The president WILL DIE in the coup. So also will the NSA, service chiefs from the south, senior military officers from the Middle Belt and the South and top Southern and Middle Belt politicians. The constitution will be suspended and Boko Haram brand of Sharia declared across the nation.

Security Alert - Military Coup Imminent (2)


1. Imminent release of names of Boko Haram Sponsors
2. Ultimatum of 78 hours by Boko Haram to President Jonathan.

Names of sponsors known to security agencies should be released without further delay. NO MORE PROCRASTINATION. Decisive action is imperative.

This public revelation is ... but necessary because BH may strike first in order to preempt the release of the names of the sponsors. It is a race against time. Ironsi's procrastination cost millions of lives. History should not repeat itself.

THIS IS VERY VERY SERIOUS !!!

BE WARNED !!!
BE WARNED !!!
BE WARNED !!!
BE WARNED !!!
BE WARNED !!!
BE WARNED !!!
BE WARNED !!!

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No excuse for terror 1

There is no excuse on earth for anybody planting bombs to kill innocent souls. None whatsoever! I want to say terrorist organisations do have one grievance or the other. That they have issues they need addressed is usually a given. But let me say these: Foremost, this sect is Islamic. I feel the entire body of Islam is not doin enough to arrest the situation. Verbal condemnation is not adequate. Islam professes peace always but some sect wont mind blasting people to tiny pieces! I really do want to believe the peace doctrine. Help us believe!
Secondly, and moving away from religion, they are allegedly fighting the long neglect of the north(relative to the south) i believe. I sincerely do not believe that is Jonathan's fault. This country at independence was handed over to a northerner and over the years, enough northerners have ruled the country.

Shehu Sanni lied in favor of Datti-he is a crook

Datti Ahmed did not present the facts right. He was only guessing. This is because when four of them met with the President, Tukur was not in the country. On his return the president told him he would be sending the group to come an meet with him.“When we met I told them to produce a list of those who have contact with Ahlis Sunna (Boko Haram) and produce a blueprint on how to negotiate peace with them. They never showed up again. “Actually they never told us those who have direct contact with Boko Haram among them and they had no idea of how to negotiate. Suddenly they came out in the media with this claim that a top government official had disclosed the initiative with the press. And what he said was that he had been chosen to negotiate with Boko Haram. In actual fact, nobody appointed him. He offered himself as a negotiator but he had no contact with the Boko Haram.

@LAGOS BOY,THE TALIBAN WAS A LEGITIMATE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT

The Taliban was a legitimate government internationally recognised before they were removed through force of arms by a foriegn power.They cannot be compared to the Boko-haram.
Secondly the USA is not negotiating,they are telling the Taliban what they want.The USA does not negotiate from a position of weakness,the word "negotiation" is a mere diplomatic term.

Boko Haram

FG Must Parley Now With Boko Haram-Shehu Sanni By TheNEWS, The Christains to parley with who? since they (Christains) are the target of Boko Haram.

FAILED US POLICIES ON TERRORISM MUST NOT BE APPLIED TO NIGERIA

Some of you here are saying that US are negotiating with Taliban and releasing high profile detainees, therefore the Nigerian Government must follow in the footsteps of the US. You miss the point by a wide mark. You do not need anyone to tell you that US policy towards Islamic terrorism was deliberately designed to fail and has continued to fail woefully despite their military sophistication and Trillions of Dollars pumped into the economies of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, Iraq etc. etc. etc. The truth is that the US from all indications does not even understand Islamic Terrorism and the underlying factors propelling it. Accordingly, they are still groping in the dark with no solution in sight. They are certainly not a model for Nigeria to follow. They simply want Nigeria to fail just as they are failing. I have confidence that our National Assembly will deal successfully with Boko Haram without any input from failed US policies.

Objective suggestion by Sani

Some of You have failed in your comments.
You did not read between the lines, you need to comment objectively.
you that abuse the prophet of Islam, You will continue to remain in doom and God will not forgive you for your ignorant of what Islam stand for.Ignorant is not an excuse.

every sensible human being condemns the act of terrorism.
Boko Haram is alien to us. Now that we found them in our mist, let suggest of how we can bring to their end rather than to continue with sentimental thinking or judgement.

May the good Lord lead us to over come the Boko haram. Ameen.

con'td-US TOO IS NEGOTIATING WITH THE TALIBANS FOR PEACE!

The US embassy in Kabul confirmed the report saying that US Amabassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker together with Afghan officials had weighed the level of threat with benefits of their release for the peace negotiations.

However, it was an old programme, it said.

"Ambassador Crocker was referencing a two-year old, rarely-used program in which senior military officials, together with their Afghan counterparts, weigh the benefits of releasing certain individuals who are being detained at the Parwan Detention Facility and who are willing to denounce violence and engage in the process of reconciliation," US Embassy spokesman Gavin Sundwall said.

"Fewer than 20 detainees have ever been released under this program, and the decision to release a detainee takes into account whether they pose any further security threat," he added.

Some of You have failed in

Some of You have failed in your comments.
You did not read between the lines, you need to comment objectively.
you that abuse the prophet of Islam, You will continue to remain in doom and God will not forgive you for your ignorant of what Islam stand for.Ignorant is not an excuse.

every sensible human being condemns the act of terrorism.
Boko Haram is alien to us. Now that we found them in our mist, let suggest of how we can bring to their end rather than to continue with sentimental thinking or judgement.

May the good Lord lead us to over come the Boko haram. Ameen.

A section of the country

A section of the country should not hold the whole country at ransom, let there be Sovereign National Conference to determine the basis of our co-existence. A section should stop being proud.

let there b justice. Shekenan!

al dis talks,sugestion,abuse of oda religion,region or ethnic group r not bt rubish. Let F. G be sincere and honest in its governance. I swear d end result wld b worth reckone with. Shekenan!

Kudos to Sanni

I am surprised to see people condemning sanni opinion,those of you here condemning him are out of your right senses. Why can't we just do away with sentimental view for a seconds. Boko Haram was born out of injustice & extra judicial killings of nigeria police force and unlawful arrest of innocent citizens. The bombing by BH in our dear country is as a result failed leadership over the years especially in the northern part of the country. The securities has failed in their capacity,in view of this failure the govt must dialogue with BH,if we are sighting an example,we should point out a very good one,we shouldn't forget that after years of bloodsheds in afghanistan the united states is ready to dialogue with the talibans.if force fails,dialogue should follow for justice &
Peace.May the souls of those died by the bombings & attacks by BH rest in peace. I pray to God to expose those who are behind this terror.

Replay message.

Man from lag, why r mood? Wen sani said u seat on chair n drank tea. Yes seriously he is wright bcox no any blast taken place dare. Also those who killed yusuf r dare not died also? So pls said good thnk r remain silent.

ABIOLA, I DONT USUALLY RESPOND TO PEOPLE LIKE YOU...

... BUT YOU RAISED A VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE. MANY NORTHERNERS THAT CHAT WITH ME ARE NOW OF THE SAME OPINION AS YOU, THAT THE SOUTHERN LED FEDERAL GOVT IS OUT TO DESTROY THE NORTH THAT IS WHY IT REFUSED TO NEGOTIATE. MY FEAR HERE IS THAT BOKO HARAM FEELS FOR PUBLIC OPINION AND THERE IS WIDESPREAD DISSATISFACTION WITH THEM ESPECIALLY BECAUSE THEY KILL AND PROVOKE JTF TO KILL OTHER MUSLIMS. I BELIEVE THIS IS WHAT LED TO THEIR ATTACKS ON CHRISTIANS. I HAVE NO DOUBT THEY WILL UP THE ANTE ONCE MORE LIKE THEY DID WITH THE MEDIA. WHERE THEY WILL GO NEXT I DONT KNOW, BUT ANY ONE LIVING ANYWHERE IN NIGERIA SHOULD NOT REJOICE BECAUSE ONE PART IS DESTROYED. ITS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BUT THE WHOLE OF NIGERIA WILL BE DESTROYED, MARK MY WORDS ABIOLA. IT WAS ONLY MAIDUGURI IT SOON BECAME THE WHOLE NORTH EAST, NEXT ABUJA, NOW ITS THE WHOLE NORTH.

LET US STAY ON POINT CAPPAGH BRIGATE

I AM A MUSLIM WITH A DIFFERENT VIEW OF ISLAM THAN THAT ADVOCATED BY BOKO HARAM. MY POINT IS SIMPLY THAT BY DEFINATION BOKO HARAM AND THE IRA ARE TERRORISTS GROUPS. IT IS NOT ABOUT WETHER THE REST OF THE NORTH ARE PROUD OF BOKO HARAM OR NOT. BOTH THE U.S. AND THE U.K. LISTED I.R.A. AS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION EVEN AFTER THE GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT.

AS A POINT OF CORRECTION THE IRISH VOTE ON THE GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT GOT A 70% APPROVAL WHICH MEANS THERE ARE ATLEAST 30% OF THE IRISH PEOPLE THAT DID NOT SUPPORT THE IRA OR INDEPENDENCE. I AM SURE YOU ARE AWARE OF THE UNIONISTS IN IRELAND.

The cawards don't know what's hapening

I always respect your view shehu sani, as u said they r far away from the north not knowing the magnitude of the boko haram attack but always discouraging the peace talk b/w the govt nd the bokos insisting on using force, if it becomes worst they will beg for water to drink again.these inyamiri

yes, you can...

that character who posited that "you cannot bomb yourself out of poverty" is dead wrong and does not understand the political and economic history of the world...people and nations abound who have done so successfully...

MR SAAD

To the Irish the IRA gave them a free state and made them proud. Are you saying that boko haram makes people in the North of Nigeria proud?

I respect your views my brother but we have to be honest and say boko haram is fighting an unpopular fight.

What a farce..

These are all the product of a failed state, should someone for example, American in his right mind suggest before its government to release Jihadist that murdered innocent people in New York. This guy suggestion virtually defect in every angle. This puritan or Jihadist started killing innocent poeple, burning police station long before the government react. By deliberatly avoiding the narrative in this public discourse is deceptive and shameful.

CAPPAGH BRIGADE

ACCORDING TO THE FREE DICTIONARY:

Noun 1. terrorist group - a political movement that uses terror as a weapon to achieve its goals

YOU CAN ALSO CHECK ALL OTHER DEFINATIONS OF TERRORIST GROUP AND THERE WILL BE NO MENTION OF "NATIONALISTIC MOVEMENT" OR SELF DETERMINATION. BOKO HARAM SEEKS TO INSTALL A STATE THAT MAKES IT POLITICAL, IRA HAS A POLITICAL PARTY SIEN FEIN AND IS NOW IN POWER IN IRELAND (NORTH). BOTH GROUPS BOMB AND SHOOT INNOCENT PEOPLE. THERE IS NO WAY WE CAN TWIST THE BOKO HARAM ISSUE TO MAKE IT A NORTHERN PROBLEM WITHOUT STRIPPING THE FEDERAL GOVT OF ITS SOVEREIGNTY AND AUTHORITY. I REST MY CASE.

OSITA DIOKA

"The President or security agencies cannot do anything about this,please be reasonable...the government has already commenced trial on the suspected extra-judicial murder of the sect leader and paid our compensation to his family.The boko-haram are fighting for a sharia state and the north should look into thier demands,this is a democracy,they are entitlled to that demand but not through violence."

WHAT ARE YOU SAYING EXACTLY. THE GOVT SEND JTF TO KILL PEOPLE IN THE NORTH INSTEAD OF DECLARING THAT NORTHERN LEADERS SHOULD TAKE OVER AND IMPLEMENT FULL SHARIA, YET YOU CLAIM THE GOVT CANT DO ANYTHING. WHY ARE THEY TRYING THE KILLERS OF BOKO HARM LEADER? YOU STILL THINK THAT IS DOING NOTHING? IF ANY ASPECT OF GOVERNANCE IS BEYOND THE ABILITY OF THE FED. GOVT. IT SHOULD DECLARE SO, AND LET OTHERS TAKE OVER. JONATHAN IS EITHER THE PRESIDENT OF ALL NIGERIA OR THE SOUTH, HE CANT BE BOTH AT THE SAME TIME.

@Saad, you could see that you

@Saad, you could see that you and your race are fools. So you think Jonathan will apace BOKO HARAM to pay them money. You must be mad. Let me tell you Jonathan is just buying time for the north to destroy itself and that is happening. No dialogue what so ever will be made with BOKO. you will all kill yourself. And if you come South, we will kill all your people there simple. Let me tell you, Sovereign National Conference is the only solution for dialogue if you need one. See the north is finished.

I am greatly disappointed in Shehu Sanni but not surprised.

Yes zany, in Lagos we drink tea and we are of the opinion that we do not need to dialogue with terrorists.
When the entire southern Nigerian is ready we would call this inglorious marriage quit.
Yusuf was killed because he took up arms against the state and killed both innocent souls and the armed forces. I will kill him again and again for that. Sanni's threat that other sects in the north would have been more brutal is rubbish as no tribe has monopoly of violence; in a full blown war situation.
Go to LIBYA and see for yourselves.