Friday, 27 June 2014

Dialogue with Boko Haram now, Tukur tells Jonathan

IMMEDIATE past National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has advocated immediate dialogue with Boko Haram terrorists in order to stem killings resulting from their activities. He observed in a chat with newsmen, in Abuja, on Thursday that everywhere war was fought around the world, the parties involved resorted to dialogue at the end. The former party boss therefore advised that dialogue should not be ignored in the efforts to resolve the present security challenges in the country. He said: “All the insurgencies, believe me, one time or the other, must end in dialogue. So, don’t put dialogue aside. “They are doing that in Iraq, in Iran and so on. So, dialogue is the answer, but let us make it faster so that we can save the souls of those who normally perish through the acts of insurgents.” Tukur spoke against the backdrop of the most recent bomb attack which took place at EMAB Plaza in Abuja on Wednesday, where at least 21 persons lost their lives and many more were wounded. He called for the strengthening of the nation’s security forces through training and adequate equipment if terrorists must be stopped, adding that the Federal Government should also go into diplomatic cooperation with neighbouring countries to ensure that they are enlisted in the war against terror. Tukur called for patriotism on the part of citizens, saying “we have a nation. We need to ensure that patriotism is the hallmark. If we love ourselves, we must love our nation. “We see what happens when people kill without mercy. We have to strengthen our defence,” he said, noting that “while the security forces are doing their bit, citizens must be watchful.” Tukur observed that the security challenges facing the nation was more than ordinary and therefore, the whole nation must rise against the evil. “These things are not ordinary. We must resolve to stand against all those doing this to the nation,” he declared. Recalling the 3Ds agenda of “Defence, Dialogue and Diplomacy,” which he pressed for during his time as the PDP boss, Tukur remarked that since the party had presence in all the nooks and crannies of the country, it could spread the message contained in the agenda to all Nigerians. He said in spite of the killings in the country, Nigerians should not lose hope and must continue to pray for God to touch the hearts of the perpetrators. On the 2015 general elections, the former PDP boss warned politicians against heating up the polity, telling them that they should think of ways to improve the system rather than making it worse. He said politicians must realise that it was the people who elected those they wanted and their choices must be respected.

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