By CALEB AYANSINA
ABUJA — The United States Congress is billed to conduct a special hearing on the menace of Boko Haram and terrorism in Nigeria, Congressman, Mr. Chris Smith has revealed.
Smith stated this, yesterday, while leading a delegation of the US Congress Committee on African Affairs to a meeting with the President of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, in Abuja.
He stressed the need for both the Christian and Muslim to work side-by-side, adding that, “Boko Haram is not about Islam, but a group of people who decided to carry arms against the state.”
Continuing, he said “this is an organ that has absolutely misread the Quran, killing people, it is something to be concern about and American government is concerned.
Smith disclosed that the US Congress would by next week conduct hearing on Boko Haram and terrorism, adding, “for example, in the US when people died during the 9/11 attack, I got to know many of the widows, the congress passed victim compensation fund that was designed to help.
“It is an idea to consider here by the Senate and the House of Representatives, with a resolution that bring about a fund to compensate the victims.”
Responding, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor who corroborated the position of US on the need for compensating the victims, added that, they had been canvassing for it, but their efforts had not yielded positive result, expressing hope that government might reconsider its decision.
Oritsejafor said: “We are hoping that the Federal Government working with the National Assembly will come up with a resolution that will create a fund that will relief these people of their traumatic situation.”
“We have sent representation to the government and we believe that, we will get response soon, because in a situation like this your priority has to be the victims.”
CAN boss maintained that those who were saddled with the responsibility of providing solution to issue of terrorism must look beyond proposing economic solution, noting that, “terrorism is not about economics or poverty, even though poverty aids terrorism, the bottom line is ideology.
“Osamabinladin, Abdulmutalab was not poor, he came from one of the richest family. They were radicalized and we need to find out how they were being radicalized. We need to engage Islamic leaders in discussions to find ways to balance their understanding of the Holy Book.”
According to him, “Boko Haram is giving a bad name to the religion of Islam that is why Islamic leaders must engage their followers.
“I do tell my friends who are Muslims, go after the people who are giving a bad name to the religion and bring them to justice. Christians and Muslims can work together but there must be on a level playing field. We need to accept and respect each other’s faith. Whether you are a Muslim or Christian, we are all Nigerians and must live together as one.”