Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, has stated that military option alone could not resolve the problem of insurgency perpetrated by the violent Islamist sect, Boko Haram; arguing that only conciliatory moves by leaders from the North-east could end the reign of terror.
Kuku said insurgency had festered because northern political, religious, traditional, and opinion leaders, particularly those from the North-east geo-political zone failed to embark on the kind of moves by their compatriots in the Niger Delta region, which brought militancy in the oil-rich area to an end in 2009.
The presidential aide, who spoke in Abuja at a public policy discourse on resolving the Boko Haram challenge via the adoption of lessons learnt from the resolution of the Niger Delta crisis, said the Niger Delta crisis was resolved through the sincere, committed and fearless participation of leaders from that region.
Kuku regretted that so far, leaders from the northern part of the country, particularly, the North-east were yet to galvanise themselves and take up the gauntlet that would culminate in bringing the dreaded Boko Haram sect to embrace peace.
Arguing that military option alone may not end the orgy of violence unleashed by the sect, Kuku challenged respected, committed and trusted leaders from the North-east and other parts of the north to rise up, reach out to the insurgents with a view to ending the blood-bath and massive destruction being visited on people and property.
He recalled the roles played by President Goodluck (then vice president) and other notable leaders from the Niger Delta, who risked their lives to reach out to ex-militant leaders, which eventually resulted in the federal government’s Amnesty Programme and the concomitant peace being enjoyed in that region presently.
Kuku, who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) lamented that insurgency could engulf and destroy the whole country if not checked urgently.
He stated that the sect was affiliated to ISIS, which was already sponsoring the insurgents, noting that this had led to Nigerians losing the command structure of Boko Haram.
According to him, this international link had culminated in the infiltration of Nigeria by insurgents from the Islamic Maghreb region, adding that this had been given practical expression by recent arrests of the sect members .
He said all of them who were arrested by the military were of Arab descent, noting that their activities had been massively destructive since they were non-Nigerians.
The presidential aide said the bravery of the Nigerian military had continued to checkmate the rampaging insurgents, who were well-funded and armed from over-running the North-east and the entire country.
The PAP Chairman said the size of the country was a disincentive to the insurgents, noting that for Nigeria's massive land mass, the insurgents would have wreaked havoc in more communities.
While urging leaders from the northern part of the country to collectively lead a peace initiative to stop insurgency, he also called for support from all Nigerians to overcome the crisis.