Contrary to the ceasefire deal announced last week by the Special Duties Minister, Kabiru Turaki, President Goodluck Jonathan has said there has not been any peace talk so far between the Federal Government and the outlawed Islamist sect, Boko Haram.
Jonathan made this declaration in an interview on Cable News Network, CNN, yesterday, saying that his administration was already wiping out violent groups in the country.
However, Jonathan’s affirmation contradicted an earlier report by Turaki who had affirmed that the Federal Government had gone into a ceasefire deal with the leader of the dreaded group.
“We have reached an understanding with them (Boko Haram) for ceasefire, which they have already directed and which we have accepted. We are working on the formal agreement which will follow in due course,” Turaki said.
On the contrary, Jonathan said there was no deal with the sect. Hear him, “No negotiation, no. In some other parts of the world, I don’t want to mention names here, it is not negotiation. The issue is that I’m not begging. But if you are somebody’s daughter and you are not doing what is right, and if you are in a secondary school or you are in a school and people observe that this young lady is not doing what is right; the way she dresses, the way you talks, some people will come through the mother to talk to the daughter or your school teacher to do that. That is what we are doing. It is not negotiation.”
According to him, the concept of terrorism was totally strange to Nigeria “Of course, terror attacks and suicide bombing was not known in our country before. It is the newest security challenge we have and when it started as it were, we did not have the terror architecture and the time to deal with terror, so we decided to deal with the ordinary criminals. But when it came, we were taken aback, but now we are building up. Recently, there was an attack in a school where 29 students were killed. But in terms of the frequency of the incident, it has gone down drastically and we are working very hard, and I believe if you are to interview me again, probably in three months time, you would praise me that the government has tried in terms of fighting terrorism in Nigeria.”
On the approach being employed to fight the scourge, Jonathan said: “Of course, you tackle terror from various angles. First of all, you must stop them or reduce their effect through military intervention. That we have done, and that is why we declared a state of emergency in the three states, where those terror attacks were predominant. In Nigeria, for you to enter a house, whether a living home, a factory or a religious place, you must get a search warrant approved by a court, but where you declare a state of emergency, the security people are free to enter even your bedroom if they suspect that there is a criminal there. So, the issue of state of emergency helps security people to search freely without contravening any law, and we are doing that and it is helping us to apprehend a good number of them,” Jonathan added.