Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has asked the Presidency to do a more diligent job of unmasking the kingpins behind Boko Haram.
He made the statement yesterday during a meeting with President Jonathan in Maiduguri. He asked the President to embrace the responsibility of unmasking the faceless individuals behind Boko Haram whilst also clamoring for amnesty as a political solution to end the crises.
Shettima said, ”We must know and accept that peace is not something we just wish for; it’s something we have to make ourselves. It is a gift we offer to ourselves; we do not do a favour to anyone by charting the course of peace because trouble is mobile. It steadily comes to our safe homes when we fail to share efforts to stop it from breathing in the very far.
“Life is a continuum for the resolution of conflicts. As John F. Kennedy rightly posited, ‘Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate’.
“Unless we want to engage in an endless war of attrition, it would be defeatist to foreclose any discussion with the sect, especially with the moderate elements of Boko Haram.”
The Borno State helmsman also asked the President to consider the ‘political solution’ to ending the Boko Haram Crises.
He said, “We are convinced beyond any doubt, like I had said, that the ultimate resolution of this crisis lies in the resort to a political solution.
“ Without prejudice to the use of other solutions, we must be ready to embrace the spirit of dialogue and negotiation to end this dark phase of our life as a nation in general and Borno State in particular.”
The Governor also offered the presiddent some tactical advice to combat Boko Haram, suggesting the adoption of technology as opposed to brute force.
Shettima said: “While we thank the Federal Government as we look forward to the continued intervention to contain the insurgency in our state and other affected states across the country, I wish to appeal that more efforts should be geared towards the deployment of cutting edge technology so that rapid success may be attained.
“The widespread deployment and use of CCTV cameras, devices for the detection of arms, ammunitions, bombs and explosives will go a long way in ameliorating the situation.”
He asked President Jonathan to develop a Marshall plan for the Northern region similar to what occured in the Niger Delta during the restiveness several years ago.
He said: ”We call on the Federal Government to immediately engage all stakeholders and initiate the process of articulating a comprehensive blueprint for addressing the scourge of poverty and deprivation in Nigeria.
“I specifically enjoin the Federal Government to come up with a Marshall Plan for the North-East geo-political zone in the same way it did for the Niger Delta to tackle the twin menace of poverty and insecurity. Integral to that Marshall Plan should be the recharging of the dwindling Lake Chad, the water resource which has the potential of positively transforming the lives of more than 30 million people spread on the shores of the region.
“As you are no doubt aware, the challenge of insecurity of the scale we have been confronted with in the last three years or so can constitute a huge distraction to governance. The unfortunate insurgency spearheaded by the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, a.k.a Boko Haram has left in its wake a heavy toll of death and destruction.
“Hundreds of human lives have been lost while hundreds of millions of naira worth of property have been destroyed, not to mention the unquantifiable loss occasioned by the crippling of businesses and other economic activities.”