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Can Buhari 'Terrorise' Boko Haram?

Panel members in Saturday’s “Electorat” talk show over Magic FM Radio in Yaounde, failed to agree.

Nigeria has since the proclamation of results of its presidential elections become the epicentre of news with General Muhammadu Buhari’s election sparking the most daring speculations, especially about the future of the terrorist sect Boko Haram. Hubert Kamgaing (panafricanist), Raoul Sumo Tayo (security expert), Hervé Akam (CPDM party member), Franck Hubert Ateba (civil society member), Christian Lang (journalist) and Mahi Mahi (UPC party Political Bureau member) verbally tussled on the issue over Magic FM’s radio talk show on Saturday, April 3, 2015, starting with the lessons to be drawn from the elections.

Lessons From Nigeria’s Presidential Elections

When the moderator and anchor of the talk show, Jean Patient Tsala, opened the microphones with lessons to be drawn from the just-ended Nigerian presidential elections, Hubert Kamgaing said outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan had no choice but to congratulate General Buhari because for several months before, Goodluck Jonathan had fallen apart with his mentor, Olusegun Obasanjo. Obasanjo had given his support publicly to presidential hopeful, General Buhari following “his disappointment at the nonchalance of Goodluck Jonathan.” However, he pursued, sensing his defeat, President Goodluck had the “elegance” to call General Buhari before even the results were released.

“This is a lesson to draw.” Hubert Kamgaing concluded. For Hervé Akam, Buhari’s election was expected. Goodluck Jonathan had left an appreciable power change which Akam termed an anthropological egalitarian change before concluding that Nigeria is on a good path after this type of political power change that is necessary for Africa. “What happened in Nigeria honours Africa,” said Mahi Mahi who seemed pleased by Goodluck Jonathan’s call to Buhari, saying Nigeria was the real winner in the election. Christian Lang was marveled by the lesson drawn from the use of technology to ensure a credible and speedy electoral process.

Buhari’s Victory Signals End To Boko Haram

Mahi Mahi hastened to add that since General Buhari had offered Boko Haram the opportunity to lay down their arms, it was time for Cameroonian troops to return to the barracks while Chadian troops in Cameroon since January 9, 2015, should pull out. This view met Raoul Tayo’s total disagreement. He said at least 30 years will be needed to wipe out Boko Haram which had not only gained territory but also the hearts of people.

Vigilance, he cautioned, must be redoubled because a stronger Nigeria might send Boko Haram’s armed militants escaping into Cameroon. However, he said, Nigeria’s anti-terrorist policy will change with Buhari’s victory for bilateral and multilateral relations had been neglected. Christian Lang denied Buhari’s capacity to end the war saying the latter had just made windy declarations. Now, he has to find technical, political, diplomatic and strategic means to transform those declarations into activities and operations on the field when he formally takes over on May 29, 2015.   

Negotiations With Boko Haram

Raoul Sumo Tayo answered negatively when Jean Patient Tsala questioned if negotiations could be held with Boko Haram. “The extreme violence of Boko Haram makes it morally indecent to negotiate with this group,” he argued. Mahi Mahi disagreed saying it was possible because it was not the first time Nigeria was having such a conflict. He recalled that after the Biafran War, General Ojukwu benefitted from an amnesty and returned to Lagos.

Impact On Relations With Nigeria

Hubert Kamgaing saluted the congratulations by Cameroon’s President to Nigeria’s President-elect. He cautioned against Cameroon being suspicious of Nigeria. Instead, Cameroon should draw closer to the economic giant neighbour and capitalise relations. “The two Heads of State must move along together,” he advised adding that even the civil society and political parties should also initiate actions of diplomacy to bring the Abuja government closer.

“We will win more my maximising relations in the socio-economic and cultural domains with this giant,” he argued. Mahi Mahi even suggested that Mixed Commissions that exist should be revamped to permit confidence-building between both peoples. “Nigeria must rely on Cameroon to pacify its geographical space, be it in the Sahelian or maritime areas.

As Jean Patient Tsala unrolled more related topics till midday, listeners too fielded contributions. “I wish that Buhari comes to Yaounde to discuss security issues with our President, Paul Biya,” suggested a listener, Abubakar.

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