By BOLA AJIBOLA
THERE seems to be a muddle about the way we are handling this issue of Boko Haram. It is my view that we are already jumping the gun and pushing the cart before the horse.
While on one hand we have embarked on the issue of state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, on the other hand the Federal Government had already set up a committee on Amnesty.
It is difficult to be friends of those one is facing on the battle field, involving death and destruction of lives and properties. In view of the current situation, there is urgent need for Nigeria to take a positive line of action. This positive line of action must be by way of dialogue. Some years back when the League of Nations had its convention, they established this idea which used to be called “fact finding”.
Whenever there is dispute between two entities, in order to find a lasting solution by way of peaceful settlement there is absolutely the need for dialogue. Such dialogue must involve the two parties to the dispute stating their causes of grievance.
Thereafter, there should be move by both parties to present their terms of settlement upon which both parties could come to by reconciliation and by way of give and take. It is after this that amnesty could come in. Talking about amnesty before dialogue is like jumping the gun which is not advisable in this regard.
It is like telling an accused person that he is found guilty even before he is asked to state his case. There is no doubt that the government must find out the immediate and remote causes of the grievance being nursed by the Boko Haram.
The idea of stating that Western education is wrong is a misnomer and cannot be part of the serious issue in this matter. In the first case, it is unislamic since the Sunnah and Hadith of Islam says, “Knowledge is a sine qua non”.
The Holy Qur’an is full of this issue of knowledge in its content. Secondly, it is unconstitutional to attempt such an idea. There is need for both sides to thoroughly address the issue of religion, ethnicity and politics.
In addition to all these, there is need for the government to address the issue of insecurity and corruption. The nation is disintegrating because of the social menace that at the moment plaguing our nation to the extent that we have now become a pariah among the comity of nations.
Talking about corruption, someone like me will find it difficult to understand that this is the same nation that I served as Attorney General and Minister of Justice for six years in the 1980s and I took no money home.
Then I directed that 35 percent of the money should be paid back to the government for good governance, 25 percent to Nigeria Bar Association as the root where I developed from and 40 percent to the needy and disable people of Nigeria (to about eight organisations including Red Cross and Red Crescent).
Now in retrospect, it is difficult for me to imagine that I was the one paying the salaries of the two staff that I personally engaged to work for the government in the Ministry of Justice throughout that period.
With insecurity, corruption and all other vices facing us in Nigeria at the moment, development will continue to be mere illusion.