It was gathered that the Catholic Bishop of Abuja Arch Diocese, John Onaiyekan, on Tuesday said the use of military force by the Federal Government will not solve the problems posed by Boko Haram or Niger Delta Avengers.
Onaiyekan, who said using force to solve a problem has never worked in any parts of the world, urged the government to dialogue with these groups to restore peace in the country.
He urged the government to stop seeing anyone with a link with the sect as terrorist.
Such people, he said, should be encouraged to talk to members of Boko Haram.
Onaiyekan spoke at the National Inter-faith Dialogue Meeting organized by IPCR and International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) in collaboration with the Interfaith Media Center (IMC), in Abuja, on Tuesday.
He said: “We have been hearing about the Boko Haram, we have been hearing about the Niger Delta and other places and it probably seems to be taken for granted that all we need is better arms, better trained soldiers and we shall solve the problems.
“I am afraid it has never worked that way, anywhere in the world. At some point after the soldiers have finished their job human beings must seat around the table and talk. There is nobody that you cannot talk with because everybody is a human being – the child of a mother and maybe the sweetheart of a woman.
“Our own Boko Haram has not taken 52 years. We are only talking of three or four years. Surely, it is not too late to now move seriously in line of dialogue. That does not mean impunity. That does not mean that nobody cares about atrocities committed.
“What it does mean is that no matter the atrocities it is always possible for human beings to see one another as brothers and sisters.”
Onaiyekan urged the government to show more interest and put effort and resources in getting some dialogue going.
“The Federal Government should be prepared to dialogue with everybody. Very often the military reaction or response can prepare the way for a fruitful dialogue but you must keep dialogue constantly in mind.
“My fear is that we are not thinking of dialogue now. Things can go hand in hand. The federal government should put in a little bit more effort, a little bit more resources, and a little bit more interest in getting some dialogue going,“ he added.