Niger State Governor and Chairman Northern States Governors Forum, Dr. Muazu Babangida, has urged northern governors to identify members of Boko Haram in their states in order to create an enabling environment for the realisation of the Federal Governments proposed amnesty programme.
He said this on Monday in Minna, noting that the President’s decision to commence amnesty programme for members of the sect was a welcome development.
Speaking at the opening of a workshop on the review and evaluation of the 2006 population and housing census, organised for the commissioners and state Directors of the Commission by the National Population Commission, Aliyu said identifying the Boko Haram members would enable the ‘‘government to have discussions with human beings not ghosts”.
Aliyu said, “I also call on the governors in the North to begin to unmask the ghost among them so that we will be talking to human beings and not ghost”
“Please let me use this opportunity to congratulate and commend the president Goodluck Jonathan for demonstrating an excellent leadership quality by listening to the cries and wise counsel from different quarters on the possibility of an amnesty for Boko Haram to engender peace and security in the nation.”
Aliyu however said declaration of amnesty to Boko-haram members was not the solution to the prevailing crisis in parts of the country.
“We must look at other angles to give Nigerians peace before asking Nigerians to support the President in the onerous responsibility of finding solution to the mirage of security problems facing Nigeria,” he added.
He noted that no matter how well planned and executed a population census was without a peaceful environment, the figures would come to nothing.
The governor noted that previous census conducted in the country did not receive acceptance from the majority of Nigerians because of illegalities perpetrated by officials of the commission and community leaders.
National Chairman of the Commission, Festus Odumegwu, said the workshop was designed to bring together the participants to reflect on the experiences and challenges of the 2006 population and housing census with the aim of evaluating the process and outcome of the exercise.