By Olusegun Emmanuel, Abuja.
…….Right time to negotiate with Boko Haram – Ozekhome
…There is no reprisal attacks – Senator Lar
The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has condemned the twin bomb blasts in Jos, Plateau state which occurred on Tuesday and explosion in Borno State, describing the incidents as “callous and completely unacceptable”.
Ekweremadu who stated this while decorating his Personal Orderly, Mr. Edward Utuh, with the rank of Inspector of Police, in Abuja, commended the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies for their efforts at fighting terrorism.
He who described the culture of bombing as “completely alien” to the country called for united front against it.
He said, “We cannot continue to live this way. I hope and pray that we see to the end of this insurgency, the bombings and destruction of innocent lives in our country. This is not the Nigeria we used to know because it not in our culture and our practices.
Ekweremadu condoled with those who lost their loved ones, stressing, however, that “in such monumental catastrophy, we are all joined together in pains and the resolve to end the onslaught”.
Meanwhile, the Senator representing Plateau South, Victor Lar, on Wednesday, denied on the floor of the upper chamber, reports of reprisal attacks as a result the twin bomb blasts which occurred in Jos.
Lar, who raised a point of order said, “I want to correct the news of a reprisal attacks as a result of the bomb blasts in Jos, there is nothing like that, the JTF has risen to the occasion and there is nothing like reprisal attacks”
The senator said he got in touch with the commander of the JTF, about two weeks ago, who confirmed that his team had arrested three people from three different location who had attempted to bomb different parts of the city of Jos.
He said, “Soon after the senate rose on Tuesday having dedicated so much time, thoughts and commitment to the security concern for the country, we were shocked with twin bomb explosions in the peaceful city of Jos around the Abuja market opposite the former Jos University Teaching Hospital.
“We will recall that the Jos model market had been burnt, hence the traders no longer have market so most of them were trading on the street. The bomb exploded right in that market.
“After the second explosion, over 45 bodies were picked from the scene, 45 were wounded with unspecified number of mangled bodies, pieces and parts. We do not know how many people that will translate into. While this was going on.”
Also, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Mike Ozekhome, lamented the spate of bombings across the country which had so far claimed over 12, 000 lives and said that the time has come for the federal government to negotiate with the terrorists.
Ozekhome, in a statement in Abuja, said, “the controversy over whether or not the federal government should negotiate with Boko Haram with a view to releasing the abducted Chibok Secondary School girls, is nauseating and demeaning of our humanity, to say the least.”
He said, “Let it be made clear that the security and welfare of Nigerians are the primary purpose of Government (Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution). It is unthinkable that some people would want the lives of these innocent future of Nigeria to be wasted on the alter of Government grand standing and engagement niceties.
“There are times when a government stoops to conquer. The international odium, obloquy and embarrassment the abduction is causing Nigeria, whose image is being serially battered, should be halted immediately through negotiation with these insurgents.
“Negotiating with Boko Haram will not amount to negotiating out of fear. It is simply an irritating sacrifice to be made to justify the sanctity of the lives of these young, innocent souls.
“I dare say that the Federal Government should negotiate even with satan, if that would bring back our girls. Even satan would be humbled and diminished by such an unprecedented strategy.”
The legal icon recalled that part of the main brief of the Turaki Committee was to negotiate with the Boko Haram, group an offer, he noted, it had imperiously rejected.
He said, “Now that the same Boko Haram has thrown up the “Olive branch”,for that is what it clearly is, the Federal Government should seize it, and make gains out of it.
“It affords a golden opportunity, not only to negotiate the release of the Chibok girls, but to holistically negotiate amnesty and halting of the horrific insurgency and bloodletting that have claimed over 12, 000 lives and wanton destruction of houses, Schools, Churches, Mosques, public buildings, and bus stops.