By Emeka Mamah
The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has appealed to the Presidents of both the National Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, Dr. Ahmad Datti and the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria, CRCN, Shehu Sani to reconsider their withdrawal from the Boko Haram Amnesty Committee constituted by President Goodluck Jonathan by returning to the committee.
In a statement issued after a joint meeting of the National Working Committee, NWC, the National Executive Council, NEC and the Board of Trustees, BoT, of the forum, ACF also condemned last week’s gun duel between the Boko Haarm insurgents and the Multi-National Military Joint Task in Baga, Borno State, leading to the death of several people as well as the destruction of property.
The statement which was signed by the ACF Spokesman, Mr Anthony Sani read,
’’ACF had meetings of its organs, namely, the NWC, NEC and BoT, in its Conference Hall, along Sokoto Road, Kaduna.
’’The meetings were well attended by members and chaired by the NEC, Chairman, Alhaji Aliko Mohammed, General J.T Useni chaired that of BOT. Many issues of national importance with direct bearing on the North were discussed; and it was resolved that the following statement be issued:-
’’The forum noted with shock the reports of violence between the JTF and the sect which destroyed many lives and properties in Baga village in Borno State.”
Severe shock in the sense that apart from such monumental losses, the violence has come at a time when the talks of amnesty leading to constructive dialogue is expected to inform cessation of hostilities and take advantage of the efforts being made to bring an end to the untold hardship brought about by destruction of lives and properties.
’’And given different accounts of the same circumstance of such violent destruction, Arewa Consultative Forum endorsed thorough investigations by the authority of what happened with a view to unveiling the facts needed for retribution to offenders as deterrent against future occurrence.
’’To that end, both the government and the governed must avoid generalizations that are not well informed by hard facts. Nigerians and the media must be wary of half truths, lest they worsen the already dire and complex situation in demand of highest level of imagination, commitment and determination that often come with patriotic courage and political will.
’’The meetings also considered the circumstances of withdrawals from the Amnesty Committee by some members; and resolved that even though consultations ought to precede announcements of names of members in view of the dire nature of the assignment, that should not make some members reject their membership of the Amnesty Committee.
’’The Forum, therefore, called on such members to reconsider their decisions in overriding interest of the North, the nation and for humanity.
This is because no sacrifice is too much to bring about peace across the nation. It is no time for blame game but for consciously directed collective efforts needed to make insecurity history.
’’The Forum welcomed the consideration and coming together of the various Northern platforms, especially of ACF and Northern Elders Forum, for the express purpose of unleashing their synergy through confronting the collective challenges facing the North and the country as a whole.
This is more so that most members of the different groups are still members of Arewa consultative Forum in pursuit of the same aims and objectives.’’
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