Boko Haram: Clerics Differ on Proposed Dialogue With Group
Sat, 25/08/2012 ? 3:28am | PATRICK OCHOGA News Metro

Mixed reactions have continue to trail the statement credited to President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oristsejafor, that the Federal Government should not dialogue with the Boko Haram group.

Speaking on the issue in Benin City, Founder and Senior Pastor, Rock of Ages Christian Assembly, Apostle Charles Osazuwa and Founder, His Prophesy Gospel Ministry, Pastor Richard Okoro, expressed different views on it.

While Osazuwa supported the CAN President?s stance, Okoro said the President Goodluck Jonathan administration would have to negotiate with the Boko Haram group. He even supported the clamour for a general amnesty for the Boko Haram members as enjoyed by the Niger Delta militants.

Osazuwa condemned alleged attempts by the Federal Government to negotiate with the Boko Haram group, saying that ?the group is not a religious body but a creation of politicians who felt left out by recent political arrangements.?

He stated: ?What is the sincerity of the negotiation and what is the term of negotiation and what happened to families who lost their love ones? I think the Federal Government should seat up and overhaul the security network and intelligent report. The aim of Boko Haram is very clear, they want the President to resign or become a Muslim and all these they know is not possible. They are saying that to make mockery of the negotiation.

?It is the responsibility of the government to defend her citizen irrespective of where they live. It is for government to map out strategies so that we don?t have another group that may come up in another part of the country and also asked for negotiation.?

But Okoro said: ?If we draw our mind to the Niger Delta issue where kidnapping was causing a lot of trouble, people sought amnesty and it was granted them. So if you say Boko Haram should not be granted amnesty I am not in support of it because the Federal Government has started it and so it has to continue. I am in full support that the Federal Government should dialogue with Boko Haram. But one thing that I keep wondering about is this: who are these Boko Haram? Where are they operating from??

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