Home » Boko Haram, Headlines, Presidency, Yakubu Gowon (1966-75) » Gowon recommends dialogue, force for Boko Haram

Gowon recommends dialogue, force for Boko Haram

May 24, 2012 by Akinwale Aboluwade, Ibadan 


Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, has said dialogue and force are the only available options to tackle the Boko Haram menace in the land.

After declaring open the Education Summit organised by the Oyo State Government in Ibadan on Wednesday, Gowon, who is the National Coordinator of Nigeria Prays, also called for prayer as a veritable tool for peace.

He said, “The option for the Islamic sect is to either embrace dialogue or make it fire for fire. But I urge Nigerians to engage in prayers in order to solve the problem because there is no problem that cannot be solved by prayers.”

Gowon dismissed the suggestion that both the Federal Government and the security agencies were not effective in tackling the menace posed by the fundamentalist group.

He said, “Government needs more time and patience on the part of the citizens for it to remain focused in ending the problem. When you look at act of terrorism across the world, it is never an ad hoc issue. We should not assume that the government is not doing enough; the government is really working.”

He urged the security agencies to be more proactive in handling the issue, noting that “this is the time to put into practice our intelligence; the security has a lot to do in that regard.”

He called on policy makers to project into the future in policy formulation.

Gowon  said, “It is generally said that the children of today are the leaders of tomorrow, but the truth of the matter is that not all can be leaders. However, we owe humanity a duty as leaders to create a level-playing ground for every child so that those who will become leaders will be grounded for the responsibilities of leadership.

Former Head of Service of the Federation, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, said, “Clearly, leadership is the bane of education in Nigeria. Rather than face the problem, we face irrelevances. You can solve the problem by staying focused and be ready to face reality. Part of the problem is that we are preparing students for jobs that don’t exist.”

Afolabi, while raising question on Nigeria’s level of preparedness for the demands of information age, said, “I want education policy that works, that will return Oyo State into leadership position. Oyo is grappling with religious problem to solve education problems but we must leave schools alone in order to build the future.


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