offered to dialogue with Boko Haram on behalf of the Federal Government. Kalu made the offer following the refusal of Boko Haram’s chief nominee for the
dialogue, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), to accept the offer.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Emeka Obasi, Chief Kalu said
there was nothing wrong with the refusal of the offer by the former Head of
State, Buhari, who was the presidential candidate of the Congress for
Progressive Change (CPC) in the 2011 general election, adding that he was
in a position to talk with the group for the return of peace to the country.
He said that having lived in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, the hotbed of
Boko Haram activities, and being a prominent South Easterner, which has been
largely affected by the activities of the group, he was in a position to marry
the feeling of the major actors in the dialogue process.
Obasi quoted Kalu as saying: “General Buhari took a laudable step by
“For one who contested the 2011 presidential election, meeting with Boko
Haram may be misconstrued because many believe that the group’s activities
heightened after the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan.”
Kalu, who is also the protem leader of the nascent socio-cultural organisation,
Njiko Igbo, added: “Ndigbo have suffered enough.
“Their businesses have been destroyed, lives lost.
“Nigeria is their country.
“I do not see why they cannot walk freely from Maiduguri to Mubi, from
Borno to Bauchi.
“I lived in Maiduguri.
“I still own properties there.
“I know the terrain.
“We can sit down and dialogue on the condition that the group will cease
all bombing activities in Nigeria.
“In the interest of peace, I think government should accept the peace
“Previously, they were almost faceless.
“Now, there is a window for peace.
“It is always good to jaw-jaw than to war-war.
“Both Islam and Christianity preach peace.
“A situation where going to serve God becomes a walk into bloodbath does
not help our spiritual lives.
“No family prays to lose four, five members to bombs in a war that seems
to set one religion against the other.”