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Aisha Yesufu: Nigerian govt, religious leaders, now mouthpieces for terrorists

Aisha Yesufu, Activist and co-convener of the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) movement, has accused the Nigerian government, Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, religious leaders and some governors of being the mouth piece for terrorists and bandits, instead of doing everything to curb insecurity in the country.

Yesufu who made this known in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, while speaking as the guest speaker at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Annual Law Week convention, said professional bodies like the NBA should “wake up to its responsibilities of defending citizens.”

“Terrorists have the Nigerian government and governors speaking for them; they have the Minister of Information, religious rulers, all speaking up for them. Who do citizens have speaking up for them?

“The professional bodies, most especially the NBA must wake up to its responsibilities.”

Yesufu’s comment is coming at a time terrorists and killer herdsmen have been on rampage across the country with popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, playing the role of a mediator between them and the government and calling on the government to grant them a blanket amnesty.

The governors of Bauchi and Zamfara States, Bello Mohammed and Bello Matawalle respectively, have also called for amnesty for the terrorists, while Lai Mohammed has continued to insist that there is nothing wrong in government holding negotiations with the terrorists.

On Monday, the Minister, while speaking on a Channels Television programme ‘Politics Today,’ had also said that the Nigerian government cannot afford to destroy forests where terrorists use as their hideouts to carry out kidnappings in different parts of the country because doing so will affect the eco-system.

“We cannot destroy the forests because of climate change. The better approach is not to destroy the forest because it would affect the eco-system, but what we need is better consultation with sub national government and security agencies on how to secure the forest to make them safe for everybody,”

Also on Tuesday, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) announced that it was considering entering into negotiations with terrorists and bandits if that would restore peace in the country and end insecurity.

The Chairman of the NGF, Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, made this known after he and some members of the forum paid a solidarity visit to the Niger State Governor, Sani Bello, in Minna, the state capital.

“We need to explore other avenues side by side with whatever the security institutions are doing, even if that means engaging in dialogue.

“We may not have a choice. We may have to do that; anything to help us to deal with this immediate crisis and then to begin to address on a much more longer time basis, the root causes of this social dislocation responsible for what we are witnessing, all around us,” Fayemi had said.