Professor Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò
Slightly over three years ago my “You Cannot Negotiate with God” was published by TheNews [February 26, 2012]. Current events, specifically the statement credited to the Special Adviser on Media to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Femi Adesina, to the effect that the federal government is open to negotiating with Boko Haram in order to end the terror group’s rampage in different parts of north and central Nigeria. He was also quick to add, as reported, that the government will not negotiate from a position of weakness. Since then, other Nigerians have weighed in on the wisdom and necessity of negotiating with Boko Haram.
It is my realisation of how all too human we Nigerians can be when it comes to the matter of how short our memory can be that has prompted me to revisit the unheeded advice contained in my long-ago opinion piece. I would like to remind us that as the original piece held, and nothing has happened in the intervening years to pooh pooh the thesis of that piece, you cannot negotiate with groups like Boko Haram. The reason is simple: YOU CANNOT NEGOTIATE WITH GOD!
Since that time, a lot of water has passed under the proverbial bridge. When the Jonathan administration first mooted the idea of negotiation, Boko Haram did not control a square foot of Nigeria’s geopolitical space. Until about April, this year, Boko Haram had mastered 14 local government areas in northeast Nigeria. When I wrote the original piece, Boko Haram had not openly identified with the then leading terrorist network in the world, al-Qaeda.
Now, it is openly allied with, or more exactly, allegiant to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levantine [ISIS]. When I wrote the original piece, there was no record of any Nigerian in Boko …Read More
Source:: PM Newspaper