Abuja, Nigeria - Nigerian President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, on Monday reiterated that his administration was still open for constructive dialogue with members of the Boko Haram Islamist sect in order to end it terror and insurgent attacks in the northeastern part of the country.
Opening an international seminar on the Observance of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in Internal Security Operations in Abuja, the President said that while waiting for the response from the sect, the military operations in the troubled areas would continue to safeguard life and property.
The declaration of a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States is one of the measures taken to contain the activities of the terrorists.
The seminar, which was organized by the National Defence College (NDC), was co-hosted by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice and the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).
President Jonathan recalled that the National Committee on Peace and Dialogue in the northern parts of the country was constituted to explore ways of dialoguing with the Boko Haram sect with a view to addressing their grievances, if any.
"I wish to use this platform to renew my previous call to members of the sect to lay down their arms and engage government in a constructive manner in order to address their grievances, if truly they have any reason to do what they are doing.
"However, while we are awaiting a positive response from the Boko Haram sect, it is important to note that government has the responsibility to protect the lives and property of our citizens. No efforts will be spared by this administration in discharging that responsibility.”
President Jonathan noted that despite the brutal nature of the Boko Haram attacks, the Nigerian government had been guided by a commitment that any allegation of human rights abuses and non-adherence to applicable rules of engagement by the military were appropriately addressed.