Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Moral Persuasion and not force is the answer to Boko Haram unrest- President Jonathan

Amid increasing terrorist attacks by the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday said he believed in solving the challenge with
moral persuasion, and not force.

According to the President, Nigerians can use the “good” in them to overcome the menace of terrorism. Nonetheless, he promised to strengthen the military and the law enforcement agencies to be capable of confronting the challenge of terrorism.

In his posting on the social network platform, Facebook, at 8.05am on Monday, Jonathan said, “I recognise that it is the intention of those behind these acts to get us to react in the same manner as they have acted thereby bringing us to their level. We must not be thus baited.

“I am committed to strengthening our law enforcement bodies to meet this responsibility because while we greatly desire peace, I am nonetheless convinced that the greatest peace is a peace through strength.”

He titled his posting, “Tackling a Global Scourge Requires Unity.”

He drew a parallel between last Friday’s attacks by a Norwegian, Anders Behring Breivik, 32, on a youth camp in Norway and similar events in Nigeria and called for an international collaboration to tackle terrorism around the globe.

He wrote, “To my brothers and sisters in Nigeria, we have faced similar situations so we can empathise with the people of Norway.

“As we combat this global menace here in Nigeria, let us fall back to our convictions as Christians and Moslems and refuse to be overcome by terrorism, but proactively bring out and use the good in us to overcome the scourge while remembering that the only difference amongst humans is that between good and bad and not between creeds.

“Truly, the only answer to those who want to curtail our freedom is to ensure that there are more freedoms.”

Boka Haram, said to have been founded in Maiduguri, Borno State, in 2002, says it is against Western education but campaigns for the adoption of the Sharia law in the country.

To achieve these objectives, the sect is currently engaged in a campaign of bombings against the government and the public. It has attacked military barracks, drinking joints and police facilities in the North and the Federal Capital Territory.

On June 16, a lone bomber suspected to be a member of the sect attacked the Louis Edet House headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force. The bomber and a policeman died in the attack while a total of 70 vehicles were either burnt or damaged.

Just on Sunday, another bomb explosion reportedly killed eight people in Maiduguri, the operational base of the sect.

A military-police joint task force, deployed by the Federal Government, is currently in the city to confront the members of the sect.

The Senate on February 17 passed the country’s first anti-terrorism law, giving law enforcers greater powers to detain and prosecute suspects.

No fewer than 750 people have been killed in several attacks by the members of the sect.

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