Dialogue with Boko Haram, Abdulsalami Tells FG

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Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar has proposed that the government dialogue with the Boko Haram sect to end the insecurity in Nigeria.
Abubakar made the call at a graduation ceremony at the Abdulsalami Abubakar Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development Studies, Minna on Saturday.

He said, “Today, the cycle of blood-letting, the brutal termination of lives of innocent and defenceless Nigerians should not be tolerated.”
He added that dialogue between the Federal Government and Boko Haram was the only way out of the situation of insecurity in the North.

“It is a collective responsibility of all to dispassionately understand the root causes of the problems and urgently search for lasting solutions.
“The path of dialogue is the most appropriate strategy in addressing security challenges; we must therefore cooperate and address our challenges.
“The government at all levels, the people within the crisis zones, security personnel, sympathisers of the aggrieved parties and the aggrieved must, for the sake of our future and that of our children, dialogue.

“This approach will yield huge dividends and this will eventually lead to the restoration of peace, security and development in our nation,” he said.
Abubakar said the institution, an affiliate of the University of Jos, would promote African conflict transformation, development methodologies and equip students with the intellectual and practical skills to prevent conflict.
“It will remain focused on its mission and mandate in the coming years to play its vital role that will continuously be a platform for transforming conflicts for human security and sustainable development,” he said.
The former head of state, who is also the chairman of the Governing Council of the institute, congratulated the graduating students and urged them to strive and excel in ensuring transparency and accountability toward sustainable peace and development.
In his speech, the Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam equally asked for dialogue between Boko Haram and the Federal Government in order to find a solution to the present security challenges.
He said the crisis was grinding economic activities in the region to a halt and said political and opinion leaders in the North should work together to address the crisis in order to prevent future catastrophe, describing the crisis as a very serious one that required the support of all northerners to tackle.
An endowment fund was launched for the institute with about N60million raised. Niger and Rivers States donated N20million each while Imo and Benue States gave N10m each.
Governors Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State, Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Suswam of Benue State were conferred with honorary fellowship of the institute.

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