By Abdulwahab Abdulah & Onozure Dania
The Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) on Tuesday called on the federal government to explore all means possible to secure the release of the abducted school children including negotiating with the insurgents.
This formed part of the issues raised by the party at a press conference addressed by its national chairman, Dr. Frederick Fasehun at the party secretariat in Lagos.
Fasehun who maintained that the children should not be used as pawns in international politics, said that the condition given by the Boko Haram leader, Sheikh Abubakar Shekau,that he will only set the girls free upon the release of his soldiers is a welcome one.
He added that, “at this point in time government should bend over backwards and do everything needful to secure the release of the girls.”
Fasheun, while tracing the genesis of the insurgency to the 2011 general elections, said Boko Haram exploded in the wake of politicians who swore to make the country ungovernable if the election did not favour them.
“Children must not be used as pawns in international politics. And government must see to the release of the Chibok children as a short-term measure, clearly differentiated from the long-term goal of terminating Boko Haram’s acts of terrorism”. He said
Fasehun added, :”We urged Nigeria’s security agencies to invite immediately all those politicians, who threatened to make the country ungovernable should the 2011 elections not go their way. They should come and explain what they meant vis-a-vis the current insecurity and Boko Haram activities”.
On the offer by the United States to help rescue the abducted girls, UPN said the federal government must tread cautiously in considering the proposition given the fact that the US has always planned to establish military presence called ‘AFRICOM’ in Africa.
“If foreign troops will be engaged against terrorism on Nigerian soil, such engagement must subscribe to the summary 2012-2013 international intervention in Mali against the Tuareg rebels,” the party said