BY OLAYINKA AJAYI
Alhaji Abubakar Tsav is a respected Nigerian who left the police force as a commissioner of Police.
In the dark days of Abacha when bombs were flying over Nigeria and killing democratic forces, Tsav stood on the side of truth and ordered investigations into some killings. He was about to unmask some killers when he was removed and retired from the Force.
Tsav gracefully took his fate in his hands and refused to be silenced. He joined the multitude demanding that Abiola be released from jail and allowed to take his mandate having glaringly won the presidential election of 1993. He has not shied away from lending his voice to popular opinions, In this encounter he speaks on the insurgency in the North East and the abducted girls.
What is your view about the proposed extension of emergency rule by GEJ in the troubled states of Adamawa, Borno, Yobe?
There was emergency rule in Bornu State but the Boko Harram sect came and abducted these innocent girls, passed through the road where there were supposed to be road blocks without any hindrance. Our borders are suppose to be guarded by customs, police, including soldiers. nobody saw anything and these people went free.
So what is the essence of the state of emergency or is the government aiding the scourge of insurgency? Donft be surprised that many officials and politicians are making serious money out of the insurgency and would not like the situation to come to an end. When Admiral Nyako and Gov Shettima raised alarm over the situation in their States, they were called names.Are they not vindicated now?
You would recall when the insurgency started, Nigerians pleaded with Jonathan to hold dialogue with Boko Harram and consider amnesty as Yar’Adua did to Niger Delta Militants, but he said he wouldn’t dialogue with ghosts, tormenting the country. Now the nation is in trouble and where do we go from here?
What do you say of the video of those girls released by the BokoHaram sect leader?
The law says that it is better to release an accused person than to punish an innocent person. These girls were held because these people want to have their men in police custody released. Under normal circumstances it is not right because they committed so many crimes against humanity. They killed and maimed people, burnt houses. So it is not proper to release them. But in a situation like this, the aim of the government is to save these innocent girls. They should negotiate with the sect. The United States and Great Britain as professional as they are in containing terrorism had done the same in one way or the other in the past swapping prisoners. But in the case of these girls. They are not criminals. They are just innocent people who were just taken from their parents. If the government says they want to use the military force to rescue these girls forcefully they may get them killed by the sect.
Do you buy the idea of the Federal Government negotiating with Boko Haram sect based on this threat?
For the sake of the girls, I absolutely agree with that school of thought that the Federal Government should negotiate with the sect.
But don’t you foresee another attack if the Federal Government succumbs to these terms?
If the Federal Government refuses to negotiate with this sect, then how do they plan to release these girls? If there is any other option the federal government has to rescue these girls without hurting them let them apply it. If they use force, it may cost these girls their lives.
How best can insurgency be curtailed?
If these girl were not abducted, I would have suggested that the best way was to sacrifice everything by going into their base and wipe them out but since these innocent girls are involved force may not work.
But since the International community is now involved do you think releasing jailed Boko Haram members is the best solution?
Let us wait to see the intelligence countries like the United State and Britain will bring on deck .
Eminent Nigerians are of the view that neighboring countries are the ones harboring this insurgent group?
Nigerians have no concrete evidence about neighbouring countries harbouring Boko Haram. If our borders were well secured, this issue would not come up.
Is it proper to link this insurgent group with foreign elements?
We have observed that countries where Americans interferred in like Afghanistan , Iraq and even Libya, they still suffer crises till today because they are oil rich States. If we allow America to interfere in our matters, something similar may happen to us. If you recall vividly, they predicted come 2015 that Nigeria will disintegrate. Their coming into this matter may cause more confusion because they are most times interested in crude oil.