Justice Mamman Nasir
Michael Olugbode â€¨in Maiduguriâ€¨
A former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Mamman Nasir, on Thursday said all northern leaders have a role to play in the return of peace to the region.
Nasir also insisted that the leaders should mandate all their subjects to preach religious tolerance, unity and peace.
Justice Nasir, who is also the Chairman, Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation, said any problem in a part of the region was a problem to all, claiming that "everything that is happening in Borno is felt in Sokoto, Ilorin and other places in the North."
The respected jurist, who was on a courtesy call to Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, said: "But then, there will be greater security if all our leaders in the North take responsibility to preach tolerance, unity and peace."
He led other chieftains of the foundation including retired Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Comassie, to sympathise with the governor and the people of the state, who he said, had suffered from the lingering Boko Haram crisis.
He revealed that the visit was aimed at preaching peace and unity to the people, while equally calling on the Boko Haram to embrace dialogue to end the crisis.
In another courtesy visit on Shettima, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh, said the Boko Haram was not an unusual thing, adding that it emanated from the freedom of expression which democracy guaranteed.
His words: “Where you have military men, their presence alone is enough deterrent though they are even getting very bored but I want to tell you that the security situation we are having here is not peculiar to Nigeria alone, it is part of democracy. In those days we had military men with whips and guns, they grabbed people and nobody could talk but in democracy, there is freedom of speech and expression. Some people (Boko Haram) have chosen to use guns to express themselves. The security situation is also happening in many countries of the world.”
Badeh commended the state government for its support to the Joint Task Force (JTF) even as he assured it of the readiness of the Nigeria Air Force to collaborate with the government particularly in returning peace to Borno.
He urged the people not to entertain fear as the crisis would soon come to an end.
Responding, the governor said the visit of the Chief of Air Force was re-assuring, noting that his coming was like a soothing balm to the government which he said, would bring psychological relief to the people.
He said the state government would continue to partner with the Nigeria Air Force, especially in the area of education.
He also told the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial chieftains that the Boko Haram uprising in Borno was not accidental.
He said Borno State being the centre of Islamic knowledge and learning, made the state vulnerable to extremism but noted that poverty and unemployment were the biggest causes of the insurgents.
Shettima said his government was determined to provide employment to the teeming unemployed youths while it equally tackles poverty.
He said he would continue to preach tolerance, peace and unity even as he reiterated his belief in dialogue as a major solution to the Boko Haram crisis.