The Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwabbo, has declared that his administration is ready to dialogue with the extremist Boko Haram sect in the interest of peace in the country.
The governor made this revelation on Wednesday when some national officers of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP visited him to sympathise with the state over the incessant attacks by the sect on north-eastern states.
The National Organizing Secretary of the party, Abubakar Mustapha led the team. Mr. Dankwambo noted that it would be imperative to dialogue in order to guarantee peace and development of the state and the zone.
‘’A lot of lives were lost which are irreplaceable, property were destroyed and many more challenges. I want to thank you on behalf of the good people of Gombe state for the concern and to assure our party, the PDP, that we will do everything possible to shun violence; we would do everything possible to tolerate dialogue and call on whoever is ready to dialogue with us in line with the principle of PDP, to bridge the gap of misunderstanding, so that there would be peace, progress and there will be development,” he said.
“ I also want to assure you, that we have taken measures to ensure that some of the victims that lost their property are adequately compensated, but those who lost their lives, it is most unfortunate, lives are irreplaceable’’.
The PDP team also visited Borno state on the same mission.
In his remarks, Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima warned that the entire north would become inhabitable in the next five years if nothing is done urgently to halt the deadly activities of the deadly sect.
‘’For now, we have to do it in our enlightened self interest, because believe me nobody would stay in northern Nigeria in the next five years. Somebody was telling me that he went to greet the Sultan of Sokoto, when he came out the areas boys came and knocked on his car and was asking for money. If you refuse to give them, they will damage your car,” he said.
Mr. Shettima narrated another story to underline his argument that poverty was fueling terrorism in the North.
“Another friend also told me that his wife and driver were driving in his Prado jeep in Kano and some boys came and broke the windscreen and said that ‘you bastards, you are enjoying the comfort of an air conditioned car and we are suffering’? So, the bottom line is poverty,” he added.
The National Organising Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Mustapha equally restated the call for dialogue with the sect so as to find lasting solution to the violence threatening peace in the region.
‘’We believe security is everybody’s concern; without it, there will be no meaningful development, investors will never be encouraged to come and put in their funds and the unemployment trend will then persist, with its associated crime. So, we ask people of goodwill to come together and dialogue. Even during wars at the end of it all, people must come round and discuss and we believe that’s the only way out.
Mr. Mustapha said that PDP remained vehemently opposed to the terrorist activities of the insurgent group.
“The PDP… calls on all those whose
responsibility it is, to take all steps necessary to bring this to an end. We believe enough is enough. We have been saying that Nigeria deserves to be among the top 20 countries, by the year 2020 and this would be a mere dream, as long as peace is not with us,’’ he said.