Former Nigerian Ambassador to Switzerland, Amb. Yahaya Kwande
By Tokunbo Adedoja
Former Nigerian Ambassador to Switzerland, Amb. Yahaya Kwande, has said the decision of two prominent northerners to reject their nomination into the Presidential Committee on Boko Haram would not affect the work of the panel.
In a telephone chat with THISDAY at the weekend, Kwande also warned that politics should not be introduced into issues bordering on the precarious security situation in the North.
The former envoy, who was part of the delegation of the Northern Elders Forum that met with President Goodluck Jonathan recently on the security situation in the region, following which the President took concrete steps to explore the possibiity of granting amnesty to members of Boko Haram, was reacting to the decision of the President of the Supreme Council of Sharia in Nigeria, Dr. Ibrahim Datti Ahmed, and President of Kaduna-based Civil Rights Congress (CRC), Shehu Sani, to reject their nominations into the presidential panel set up to dialogue with the sect.
Datti had hinged his decision on what he called the insincerity of government in previous efforts to find a solution to the Boko Haram crisis and the appointment of government officials as key members of the panel, while Sani based his decision to turn down the offer on the fact that he was not consulted before his appointment was announced.
When asked if he feared the rejection of appointment by the two prominent nominees was a blow on the panel, Kwande simply said, “Why should it affect the work of the committee?”
Butressing his claim, he said: “I don’t see how it will affect the work of the committee. I don’t like to go into a controversy like this. I have seen four of our prominent members who are knowledgeable in the committee. None of them has pulled out.”
Harping on the need for urgent solution to the serious security challenge posed by the sect, Kwande said, “This is not something that you will put politics into. Believe me, we don’t sleep anymore, we are all frightened.”