…supports FG’s dialogue with IPOB
…dismisses negotiation with insurgents, Boko Haram, bandits
By Peter Duru
The National President of Middle Belt Forum, MBF, Dr. Bitrus Pogu has corroborated the stance of Shiek Gumi that the security agencies are colluding with bandits to unleash mayhem in the country. He also supported his position that government should invite the IPOB for negotiation.
Dr. Pogu however dismissed the suggestion by Gumi that the government should negotiate with bandits insisting that government cannot negotiator with mostly ‘foreign’ criminals who are killing Nigerians.
The MBF National President who spoke to Vanguard Wednesday in Makurdi said, “If you remember the statement of Gen. TY Danjuma(retd) in 2018, he said that they are colluding. Now the word colluding has a lot of connotations. It meant that they were conspiring together to achieve whatever they are achieving. And yes, there are evidences here and there that this people are being given cover by our security agents.
“For example their location is known but they are never attacked or routed out. Whether it is Boko Haram, bandits or Fulani herdsmen militia, their operations are the same. And we are convinced that our military has the capacity to clear this thing in a very short while, but it is never done for reasons best known to the security agencies.
“So, another evidence is that soldiers, police men are kept around towns to keep watch rather than to go and attack the bandit or the insurgents. They just use a cover saying it is an asymmetric war. What do we mean by asymmetric war if their locations are known. So in that regard, what Gumi said is correct that there is a collusion because as far back as 2018 Gen. Danjuma said there was collusion.
“Then on the issue of negotiation. The fact is that negotiation comes in only because there is insincerity on the part of the security agencies. If not, they can be crushed.
“Why would you give people who are ruthless the window of opportunity to negotiate. Yes there are some people in the Boko Haram Movement who have been indoctrinated into thinking that they are fighting a jihad. And when they are in, they cannot go out. If there are such instances, yes you can maybe rehabilitate, you can re-radicalize such elements.
“But when you have hardened people who go and kill without provocation and you suggest negotiation, who will you negotiate with? That means government should reward insurgents which will encourage others to do something likewise. So we don’t buy into the talk of negotiation. If people are captured in war, of course you can de-reradicalizing them because they surrendered in war. We cannot go and start negotiating with people who kill Nigerians without provocation.
“And another thing, many of this people are not even Nigerians. Why should we negotiate with foreigners who come to our land to kill us? I don’t buy into that.
“On the issue of IPOB, yes IPOB are fighting and not going to kill people just for the sake of killing them. IPOB is leading a liberation agenda. They feel that their area has been marginalized and Nigeria nation has not treated them well. That is why they are doing what they are doing. Yes such people can see reason. You can discuss, you can talk with them. You can make amends to the system to accommodate them. And then they will stop.
“So the issue of IPOB is a different thing from the banditry, the Boko Haram insurgency and the so called jihad some of them are fighting. They are two different ball game. And that can be negotiated because they fighting for their rights which they feel have been denied. And they can see reason if the Nigerian nation can accommodate them the way they feel others are being accommodated, they might stop what they are doing. So these are the difference in the whole situation.
“On the issue of granting political amnesty, I will say whether it is state or the federal, you do not treat criminals with kid gloves.
Criminals should be treated as criminals. IPOB is fighting the system because they feel the injustice being meted out to them. But these bandits, Boko Haram and Fualni militia feel they should kill and take over. And some of these people are not even Nigerians but IPOB members are Nigerians. It is clear. The military have the might, they know where these insurgents, Boko Haram, bandits and Fulani herdsmen are, they should go after them, crush them and let us have peace in the country.”