The Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution on Security Challenges in the North on Thursday addressed the Diplomatic community in Abuja on their efforts so far. The Chairman of the Committee, Alhaji Kabiru Turaki, who is also the Minister for Special Duty after the presentation, spoke with journalists. Thegazellenews.com’s HENRY IBYA was there. Excerpts:
What are some of your findings so far?
Because we do find things at the point of writing our report, so when we begin writing our reports, we definitely make findings and it is at the basis of these findings that we draw our conclusion and it is from these conclusions that our recommendations’ will follow. Nigerians will certainly see what our recommendations will be when we submit the document.
Boko Haram has disagreed on ceasefire what is your take?
This is a minute issue now. We have address it severally, now I don’t want to comment on this issue again.
There have been calls from various stakeholders about the need for the continued existence of your committee given the escalation of hostility, whast is your reaction to this?
Is there any country in the world where the issue of terrorism has been solved within the establishment of committee? There is none, take even the case of Northern Ireland where the agreement of ceasefire has been written more than two decades ago, is the issue of terrorism not still there?
The issue of terrorism is not something you solve within a day particularly the kind of terrorism we have in Nigeria where you have a lot of elements that masquerade into it, so it is something that has a lot of dimension.
We are trying the best we can and this is something we have to approach holistically not only on the side of what the committee is doing but also what the government, security agencies, and religious leaders are doing and well meaning Nigerians are doing.
It is something that has to be approached from all perspectives. Mr. President when he set up this committee did not say go and stop the problem now, and stop the issue of terrorism. So don’t forget that there are several people who have been there before us and they are still doing it. But you get some people who are willing, you go along with them. You get some people who do not want to give peace a chance, then you leave them with the government. Because the Nigerian government has the will and capacity to make sure that lives and property of all law abiding Nigerians are protected in all circumstances.
I have responded to it severally. I can’t be speaking on the same issue everyday. Much as I want to be speaking with the media, you yourselves must be mature in the way you do things. I speak on something today, I speak on it tomorrow and next tomorrow you want me to speak on it….there must be decorum. You as stakeholders what are you doing as stakeholders to solve the problems.
We are doing it through our write-ups.
Your write-ups are not the ones that encourage dialogue. You are the people at the forefront, you suffered a lot of casualties. Can you tell me any concerted efforts that you as a critical sector has done to assist dialogue.
We have also lost our men too?
It is not about losing your men. What proactive steps have you taken to assist dialogue, tell me.
It was in the course of doing our work that we lost our men.
No. No. You are there to report for your organizations and to make money. I am asking you what have you journalists done as a group to assist peace process as Nigerians as stakeholders. Tell me.
Have you had contact with Shekau and other Boko Haram leaders?
Answer me first before I answer your own.
What assurance do you want to give Nigerians?
You see when you ask questions like these let us not begin to have a different view of journalists. It is not good. When I tell you I don’t want to talk again and you are trying to harass me. I want to see Journalists as my friends you know I have the right to refuse to talk.