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FG not talking with Boko Haram – Presidential aide

By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa
Presidential Adviser on Research, Documentation and Strategy, Oronto Douglas, yesterday dismissed claim of ongoing dialogue between the federal government and the Islamic sect, Boko Haram saying the government cannot dialogue with a faceless group.

Douglas said the sect was yet to come out from its shield to enable government know its demands and other issues.

He spoke in Yenagoa as a guest speaker at the third annual public lecture of the Federated Correspondents Chapel (FCC) entitled ‘’National Unity:Imperative for Growth and Development inNigeria.”

The presidential aide who said the government may consider negotiating with the sect if it finally identifies itself for dialogue however noted with regret the spate of bombings in parts of the north by the Boko Haram which he described as threat to national unity.

”We have to put in place a building wall of collective responsibility. We must do things together.

Our unity is imperative,” he said and identified insecurity, ethnic differences, sectionalism and corruption as the major problems plaguing the development of the nation. The Federal Government he noted was tackling corruption frontally, adding that President Jonathan do not interfere in the affairs of the Economic and Financial  Crimes  Commission (EFCC).

”How do we solve corruption?We have to fight corruption collectively.The only way to fight corruption is to build a strong institution. President Jonathan will not interfere in the affairs of the EFCC.

He said the commission should go ahead and do its job. People want Jonathan to be like a Headmaster,” Douglas said he called for nation building, arguing that the people should agree that there is a nation to be built.Nigeria he said was in a building process, and appealed for support from the public to enable the present administration to succeed.

Earlier, Keynote Speaker at the public lecture and lecturer at the Niger Delta University (NDU), Amassoma, Dr. Ibaba Ibaba, lamented that in spite of the nation’s enormous resources, poverty was still prevalent among Nigerians. Ibaba  said the nation had sold over $600 bn worth of crude oil, and is still one of the poorest in the world.

He blamed the country’s under-development on lack of infrastructure, corruption, unemploy-ment and other challenges.

In his address, Chairman, Federated Correspondents Chapel, Kola Oredipe, raised fears that the nation would achieve less, if the populace continue to place much emphasis on ethnic and religious differences .



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