News

Nigeria Opposition Urges Government Dialogue with Boko Haram

Residents survey vehicles damaged after a bomb blast at a primary school in Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria's Borno state, February 29, 2012.
Residents survey vehicles damaged after a bomb blast at a primary school in Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria's Borno state, February 29, 2012.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Lai Mohamed, spokesman for Nigeria’s opposition Action Congress (AC) Party

Peter Clottey

The spokesman for Nigeria’s opposition Action Congress (AC) Party said the latest government security effort is unlikely to succeed against threats posed by the Boko Haram Islamist sect.

Lai Mohamed said the only way the administration can resolve what he called the “Boko Haram menace” is to engage members of the sect in negotiations to resolve their concerns.

The administration this week ordered all government buildings to be equipped with surveillance equipment immediately in an effort, they said, to prevent the sect from using letter bombs as part of its terrorist activities.

Mohamed said the equipment “will not solve the problem.”

“There must be, first and foremost, an understanding of the Boko Haram phenomenon.  Then, there must be a very intelligent approach to how to address it,” said Mohammed.

Boko Haram, which means “Western education is a sin” in the Hausa language, seeks to impose a strict form of sharia, or Islamic, law in northern Nigeria, and to end graft.  The group is blamed for killing hundreds of people this year in Nigeria and claimed responsibility for the Christmas Day bombings.

In its 2012 budget, the government allocated more than $6 million to help bolster internal security and combat the Islamic sect, which officials have called the country’s biggest security threat.

But, he said it appears some politicians are taking undue advantage of the security crisis.

“Unfortunately, this has confirmed some of our worse fears that some people are determined to exploit and make as much money from the Boko Haram phenomenon,” said Mohammed.  “That, I think, is why they are discouraging the government from some meaningful approach to the Boko Haram [violence].”

Mohammed insisted that the origins of the sect could be traced to its displeasure of “perceived corruption.”  He blamed bad governance for nurturing the sect “to become the monster that it has become today.”

He maintained the solution to the security crisis lies in negotiations.

“We believe that this matter will only be resolved if there is an honest attempt by the government to engage [Boko Haram] in some meaningful talks,” said Mohammed.

“The Boko Haram people are not fighting a conventional war and that is why it will be difficult [to use the military].  Let’s discuss with them what their grievances are.  No matter how ridiculous their demands are, it can be watered down and we can arrive at an agreeable conclusion or decision.”

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: clement
April 16, 2012 8:25 AM
I had always said that the answer is THRUE FEDERALISM were everybody will go home and put her house in order,otherwise we will contenue to negotiate with ethnic militians i bet u if u finish with Boko Haram another group will be coming up from another region

by: taju
April 14, 2012 10:51 AM
what? dialogue with armed robber. these people called boko haram are blood sucker, they are thieves robbing banks , killing innocent people for nothing.they are coward people using islam for camouflage.where is it in the quran that say is fine to steal to promulgate islam

by: Toni
April 13, 2012 3:21 PM
I think the Nigerian Govt should investigate these Boko Haram sympathizers such as Mr Lai Mohammed and others. in this days and age; where the whole world is moving forward towards positive change, These murderers who parades them selves as BOKO HARAM want to bring our country backward. it is my view that the govt should not negotiate with terrorists and killers of innocent Nigerians.

by: triple a
April 13, 2012 11:47 AM
Dialogue with islamic sect is the solution to violence and killing innocent people.

by: s ducain
April 13, 2012 10:33 AM
You can't have talks with people who at best, belong in a psychiatric facility.
They are casually and brutally murdering mostly Christians as if playing a
computer game . It is solely a problem of military logistics. As far as poverty
is concerned, it is entirely self-inflicted.

by: Edwin Kaliku PhD.
April 13, 2012 10:20 AM
I see no reason why Lai Mohammed can not talk with the devils, why is he waiting for the government, is he not part of the Nigerian government. Talk with them and let us know what to do. Poverty, lack of development and corruption gave birth to these devils. Government must take care of Nigerians now or never.

by: emmantoka
April 13, 2012 9:59 AM
how can nigeria government dialogue we boko haram after their muder cases , which we nigerias have a law under muders cases , so let them face the law no dialogue . in the slfe defence law , thier is no dialogue thanks.

by: Enyozia
April 13, 2012 8:02 AM
Would you negotiate with the Devil?

by: Ukeni Ewa
April 13, 2012 7:47 AM
This Nigerian Islamic terrorist group,the Boko Haram wants to Islamize
Nigeria through imposition of sharia.The sect is doing that by their mass
murder of innocent Christians and bombing of Churches.Anybody who
advocates for a dialogue with such a group must be a sympathizer or
mentally unstable.Has Lai Mohammed got his faculties about him?

by: Allen Okpoko
April 13, 2012 3:45 AM
Is Alhaji Lai Mohammed listening to himself at all?Over what should the
administration negotiate with the Hausa/Ffulani terrorists?Nigeria is
a secular Republic and that secularity of our nation is non-negotiable.Isn't
the Boko Haram sect already gaining some supports from the Yoruba
muslims like Lai Mohammed and his Principal,Alhaji Ahmed Tinubu?
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs