OPC challenges Boko Haram, warns government against dialogue with “faceless” sect

Frederick Faseun, National Chairman, Unity Party of Nigeria

Nov. 10 (PREMIUM TIMES) — The Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) on Friday called for immediate ceasefire by the extremist Boko Haram sect as a prelude to any meaningful dialogue between the Federal Government and the violent group that has claimed responsibility for spates of deadly attacks in northern Nigeria.

At a news conference in Lagos, the OPC also faulted the ongoing constitution review by the National Assembly, insisting that “no amount of tinkering and panel-beating” could reform the 1999 constitution into a “people’s document”.

OPC Founder, Frederick Faseun, said Boko Haram must unveil its identity for meaningful talks which must take place within Nigeria.

The group was recently reported to have proposed a negotiation meeting in Saudi Arabia.

“Boko Haram has remained faceless; government must insist on not discussing with a faceless group until the leaders are unveiled and known.

“And any dialogue between government and Boko Haram should hold within Nigeria,” added the OPC Founder.

Mr. Fasheun noted that since much of Boko Haram’s hostility was against Christians, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) must be represented at the proposed talks.

He suggested that negotiations should be open to accommodate other ethnic interests such as Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, Middle-Belt Forum, Egbesu, MEND and other nationality groups, whose indigenes have been wantonly slaughtered by Boko Haram.

“Unbiased professional bodies like the Nigerian Bar Association and the Nigeria Union of Journalists can be appointed as mediators.

“Government must guarantee the safety of Boko Haram representatives, instead of viewing it as an opportunity for security agents to tail, hound and arrest the sect leaders,” he further said.

He advised the government against paying any form of compensation to members of the sect as it would set a wrong precedence.

“Compensation to a group responsible for the death of too many Nigerians will encourage other groups to start agitating,” he said.

He also urged the Federal Government to equally consider amnesty for Henry Okah if such gesture was offered to Boko Haram.

On the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution by the National Assembly, the OPC Founder said the review amounted to “a brazen display of impunity”.

“By any stretch of their mandate, members of the House of Representatives and the Senate are lawmakers and not constitution makers.

“The Constitution only gives them the power to make laws; but the power to make a Constitution, anywhere in the world, is reposed in the people.

“Hence, we shall continue to demand for the convening of a Sovereign National Conference, (SNC),” Mr. Fasehun said.

According to him, the current Nigerian Constitution is a handout from the military and only the people can determine answers to questions in the document.

“The people can only do so in the atmosphere of a Sovereign National Conference,” he added.

 


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  • NAGODI_1

    IT IS DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND THE MOTIVE OF SOME SO CALLED NIGERIAN LEADERS. SO THERE IS NO NEED TO CALL NIGERIAN MUSLIM REPRESENTATIVE SUCH AS JAMAATU-NASRIL-ISLAM TO THE NEGOTIATION WITH BOKO HARAM? WHAT ABOUT THE 850 MUSLIMS NORTHERNERS AND SOUTHERNERS SLAUGHTERED BY BOKO HARAM INCLUDING TRADITIONAL RULERS AND IMAMS THAT HAVE PAID THE ULTIMATE PRICE? WHAT ABOUT THE 4 CHINESE CITENS, NEARLY SIX HUNDRED POLICE AND ARMY RANK AND FILE?

    THE BELIEVE IN THE SOUTH THAT BOKO HARAM IS SPONSORED BY SOME IN THE NORTH WILL CONTINUE TO COST US LIVES AND LIMBS INDEFINATELY. SHEIKH YUSUF WAS THE LEADER FOUNDER AND NURTURER OF BOKO HARAM. AFTER HE WAS EXTRAJUDICIALLY MURDERED SHEIKH SHEKAU TOOK OVER. ANY BODY WHO CLAIM THAT BOKO HARAM IS ANYTHING OTHER THAN THIS IS JUST DECEIVING HIMSELF.

    WE DEMAND THAT THOSE WHO SAY BOKO HARAM NEED TO UNMASK ITSELF SHOULD ASK THE ONLY AUTHORITY INVESTED WITH THE WHEREWITHAL TO DETERMINE THAT TO ACT. THAT AUTHORITY IS THE NIGERIAN FEDERAL GOVT. LET THE GOVT FISH OUT THE SPONSORS AND FACES. IF THEY CANT DO THAT THEN THEY SHOULD RESIGN BECAUSE THEY HAVE FAILED IN THE MOST PRIMARY OF ALL RESPONSIBILITIES.

    I MUST SAY HERE THAT BOKO HARAM IS NOT ONLY KILLING NORTHERNERS, YORUBAS HAVE DIED. TO PLAY POLITICS WITH THIS ISSUE BY TRYING TO CALL A NATIONAL CONFERENCE IN THE GUISE OF NEGOTIATIONS WITH BOKO HARAM IS TO SAY THE LEAST DISINGENUOUS. IF OPC IS COURAGEOUS ENOUGH LET THEIR REPRESENTATIVES CALL FOR A NATIONAL CONFERENCE, THEY SHOULD NOT CALL ALL SECTORS OF SOCIETY EXCEPT THE NORTH IN AN ATTEMPT TO SAY BOKO HARAM REPRESENT THE NORTH.

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      The OPC like other patroits have called for a national conference but the evil north will continue to discourage Nigerians from talking freely. You need to see the latest release from ACF and Kwankwaso. I think the evil north is benefiting from the chaos and instability.

      • NAGODI_1

        THE EVIL NORTH WAS ACCUSED OF HOARDING POWER IN THE CENTER AND STIFLING ANY MOVE TOWARDS A SNC, NOW YOU POWER IN THE CENTER FOR MORE THAN TEN YEARS AND WE ARE YET TO HAVE SOUTHERN SENATORS OR THE SOUTHERN PRESIDENT MAKE THE NECESSARY MOVES TOWARDS SNC. IT IS NOT THE FAULT OF THE NORTH THAT WHEN IT CAME FOR YOU TO LEAD YOU PRODUCE PEOPLE WHO CANTMAKE A MOVE IN YOUR FAVOUR.

      • Dan-Hausa

        I asked you a simple question; up till now you no answer on Cyntjia’s case. That is when you will know the axis of evil in the country or is because of the food for thought I gave you that is why you are dodging me? A faceless coward.