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FG to Boko Haram: Grab offer of dialogue now

* All options are open – VP Sambo

By Kingsley Omonobi

“Drop your arms and embrace dialogue”.  With these words, the Federal Government restated its willingness to engage in talks with the Islamist group, Boko Haram, to end the spate of bombings, gun attacks and killings in some parts of the North.

The vice president, Architect Mohammed Namadi Sambo, conveyed government’s message, yesterday.

Sambo, who tactically refused mentioning the name, “Boko Haram”, while speaking at the closing ceremony of the 2nd edition of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) ‘Air Exposition 2012’ at NAF Base, Kaduna, to mark the 48th anniversary of the force, implored the ‘group’ to use the window of opportunity provided by the Federal Government to embrace the call for a negotiated end to the Islamist insurgency.

His words, “I must say that we are leaving no stone unturned at ensuring the safety of lives and properties of all Nigerians and our visitors by subduing the current security challenges we are facing. We are still calling on the group to take our offer for dialogue in the interest of peace and development of our country”.

The Vice President made it clear that, though government is exploring all the options in search for peace in every part of the country, including dialogue, government has also put the military in a prepared state, and, in conjunction with other security agencies, to enforce and maintain security across the country.

Referring to the statement earlier made by President Goodluck Jonathan that strong and proactive military is pivotal to the transformation agenda of the present administration, Sambo said, “President Goodluck Jonathan clearly captured the mood of the nation when he stated that a strong, modern and proactive military is pivotal to achieving the administration’s transformation agenda especially in the face of on-going security and development challenges we are currently faced with.

From right; Vice President Mohammed Namadi; Governor of Taraba State Danfulani Suntai; and Minister of State for Defense, Dr. Olusola Agbeja Obada during the 2nd Nigerian Air Force Expo 2012 held at the Nigerian Air Force Base Kaduna, yesterday. Photo: State House, Abuja.

“The military, in pursuance of its tradition, has been actively engaged in the full defence of our territorial integrity as well as maintaining our sovereignty with them being pivotal in quelling internal insurrection due mainly to the inadequacies of the needed manpower in the Police Force to which government is committed to address with the urgency that it desires”.

He commended NAF for an excellent air exposition and expressed the view that if the standard could be sustained and improved upon, they will emerge as the most formidable air force in Africa.

He said: “I am delighted to be invited to close this event aimed at show casing of air power and the various activities of officers and men of the Nigerian Air Force let me congratulate the ministry of defence as well as the chief of air staff for putting up this gigantic show that is aimed at further preparing our officers and men to address issues of internal and external security.

“The various equipment, aircraft, aerial display and combat readiness and  tactics exhibited during this expo had demonstrated the fitness and readiness of our Air Force and indeed the military to face emerging challenges.

“With the formation of strategic training modules and the determination of our tested and trusted personnel of the nation, there is no doubt that we are creating one of the best air force of the African continent; we are very proud of what you are doing.

“Let me use this opportunity to call on other arms of the military, and other paramilitary organisations to emulate the example of the air expo 2012; events like this will further engender civil confidence on the armed forces”.

Also speaking at the event, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar, expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the 2012 Air Exposition with the assurance of a more improved edition in 2014, which will mark their Golden Jubilee.
Umar assured that the NAF team and officers will always be available to carry out their primary duties of protecting our territorial integrity and quelling any internal insurrection.

“I want to say that we are pleased with the outcome of the Air Exposition 2012 and as you must have seen our exhibitions have been very marvelous and our crew was very professional”, he said.

“As you can attest, they are willing, able and ready to take any task given to them. I want to use this opportunity to thank the entire nation for the support given to the Air Force”.


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Posted by on May 20 2012. Filed under Boko Haram, Latest Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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