The Dialogue Is Dead On Arrival -Ekhomu | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Cover Choice, POLITICS

The Dialogue Is Dead On Arrival -Ekhomu

Posted: Aug 2, 2015 at 12:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Dr. Ona Ekhomu is an international security expert. In this interview with IFEOMA ONONYE, he explains why the Federal Government’s intention to dialogue with Boko Haram cannot yield positive result.



The Federal Government has accepted to dialogue with the terrorist sect, Boko Haram, with the aim of rescuing the abducted Chibok girls, do you think there is need for this dialogue?

We have seen efforts made by the past administration to do the same thing, and when it seemed that things may go in the favour of the government to rescue the girls, they made an announcement that Nigeria was ceasing all military actions against the sect. This action was wrong. I mean, you do not let down your guard before the war is over. They had not retrieved the girls and you are letting down your guard. Even if there was a little hope, they should have kept on the pressure until they got the girls. Then after a while, we heard that it was some Chadian mafia in coalition with some insiders in the Federal Government that claimed to be representing the sect and went away with millions of dollars. Boko Haram is a shadowy group. They are not known to anyone. So it will not be that easy saying we are having a dialogue with the sect that operates in the shadow. It’s laughable when some people come to say they have been speaking with Boko Haram prisoners and they have agreed to do something to help. In the right sense, what do you expect a captured criminal to say? They will be very meek.

How do you think the government will determine that they are negotiating with the right people, having in mind that they were duped in the past?

Until Abubakar Shekau, who we all know as the leader of this terrorist group comes out to state his terms, there is nothing that can be done. The Chibok girls in question are already scattered, and the possibility of getting them all at once is almost impossible. There is the possibility that we can still find only 30 to 40 per cent of the girls because there is the assumption that those who resisted the sect members’ demand may have been killed; some married off or taken to other countries like Sudan, Mali or Yemen.

There is no doubt that the government means well but they do not understand how to go about it.

Do you think the dialogue will yield positive result?

The issue of dialogue is dead on arrival. It is not going to yield any positive result because we did not do what we were supposed to do at the right time. This group re-radicalised their system and because we were wasting time, they kept recruiting more people into their suicide bombing fold. It is easy for an administration to cancel the operations of former administration because they believe they have a better plan. But since they have seen that all they planned is not yielding positive result, they should revisit what the military did right at the time of former President Jonathan administration if they want to win this war against terrorism.