Abuja, 15 Jumadil 1434/26 April 2013 (MINA) – An offer by the militant group Boko Haram for dialogue with the government is sparking optimism among the Muslim community in Nigeria to end years of violence in their country.
“We welcome the fresh attempt by the sect to dialogue with the government,” Dr. Abdurrahman Ahmad, a leading Muslim scholar, according to OnIslam.net report as monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).
The release of French hostages signaled the group’s readiness to dialogue, the group’s leader Mohammed Marwan told the Hausa Service of the Voice of America.
The media reported that one should heave a sigh of relief if the sect indeed is ready to dialogue with the government of Nigeria in a bid to bring lasting peace to the country especially the violent-prone Northern region.
The Nigerian government has not yet commented on offer.The militant group Boko Haram has said earlier this week that it was ready to engage in dialogue with the government to end violence in Nigeria. However, media reporters were being circulated that the government is preparing an amnesty package for the sect to help regain calm to the country.
“Violence brings no good and our brothers and sisters in the North are most interested in anything and everything that will end the constant and real threat to their lives and properties.”
Boko Haram, a Hausa term meaning “Western education is sinful”, is loosely modeled on Afghanistan’s Taliban. The militant group says it is fighting enemies who have wronged its members through violence, arrests or economic neglect and corruption.
It has been blamed for a campaign of shootings and bombings against security forces and authorities in the north since 2009. But recently, the sect has carried out attacks against Christians.
Muslim leaders have voiced hope that dialogue will lead to establish peace in the major African country. “While the sect’s violent activities run afoul of Islamic principles, we commend its latest intention to dialogue with the government because that will bring the much-sought peace,” pro. Ishaq Akintola of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) told OnIslam.net.
Akintola, who teaches Islamic studies at the Lagos State University, said the sect’s acceptance of dialogue is long overdue because “only dialogue and peaceful conducts are consistent with Islamic tenets”. “The initial resort to violence in pursuit of its objectives was un-Islamic.”
Almuhminaat, an umbrella group of Muslim women across Nigeria, also praised the dialogue offer. “We are glad at this news and we pray Allah to let it work as planned,” the group’s president Mutiah Jumoh-Olagunju said. (T/P012/P03)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)