By Adedayo Akinwale
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that the war against Boko Haram insurgents can only end through the combination of superior military might, diplomacy and steady improvements in quality of life for the people.
The Speaker in a statement issued yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Lanre Lasisi, said that this was the only way to force the terrorists to run out of steam.
Gbajabiamila disclosed this at an interactive workshop on International Humanitarian Laws (IHL) organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Abuja. Gbajabiamila said that they gathered at the workshop as honourable members and staff of the House of Representatives to acquaint themselves with the laws of conflict.
He stated: “Our nation is at war against those who wish to remake our world in service of a discredited theocracy. This war will not end on the battlefield. Insurgencies rarely do.
“It will end when through the combination of superior military might, diplomacy and steady improvements in quality of life for the people on the ground, we force the enemy to run out of steam. It will fall to some of us in this room to manage the ending of that war.” “We do this so that as we make policy and pass legislation, as we oversee the conduct of our nation’s security services, we can make certain that the men and women who carry arms in our name do so with honour, with integrity and with the utmost respect for the sanctity of human life”.
The Speaker however expressed optimism that at the end of the workshop, participants would be wiser and more capable of meeting the responsibilities of the offices they hold.
In his remark, the Head of ICRC Delegation in Nigeria, Mr. Eloi Fillion, said the workshop was to bring decision-makers to jointly reflect on some of the great achievements of humanity as well as discuss some of the biggest challenges of today.
He said the Geneva Conventions of 1949 were designed for the “dirty frontlines of war” and that they embody a pragmatic balance between military necessity and human considerations.
Fillion noted that the rules have not stopped people from being tortured, killed, raped or left to die without medical treatment, saying there are “blatant violations of IHL” and “terrible failures to protect people every day” as a result of armed conflicts across the world.