|Rtd. Col Sambo Dasuki; Nigeria's National Security Adviser|
Our heart goes out to the innocent victims of the horror and the terror that liters the land. We mourn with the bereaved and sympathize with the families of the servicemen and women who have lost their lives so we may live in peace. And we commiserate with the countries of the 7 expatriates who were kidnapped and later murdered by the Ansarus.
Chiefly we are persuaded that the way to stem this sorry and ugly orgy of violence, horror and terror is dialogue. We are convinced that no nation in the world has ever defeated terror with ‘terror’ little wonder the U.S is presently involved in proactive dialogue with the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the systemic but steady withdrawal of their troops from combat zones in the Arabs is a vote for proactive engagement at the dialogue table.
Our position is indiscriminate of the venom that those who would rather an eye for an eye will pour at us, but we maintain that an eye for an eye will only populate our world with blind men and a tooth for a tooth with toothless and never smiling men.
We volunteer to aid and support the process of dialogue; we offer to use every vehicle at our disposal in preaching the message of unity, peace and progress. Whilst lampooning the less than effective role of the National Orientation Agency in national integration, we call Nigerians to love, forgiveness and forbearance.
Our position on dialoguing with Boko Haram and other armed groups in the land is anchored on the following incontrovertible tripod;
1. Nigeria has seen more conflicts and conflagrations in the past five years than the years that preceded the civil war, yet again the seed of national discord rears its ugly head so much so that we hear the drumbeats of war across the land and conscious of the fact that war does no good, and that war always ends at the table of dialogue, the question therefore is why not jaw-jaw than war-war.
2. Boko Haram and the other armed groups in the land have shown that death is perhaps no threat to their activities, our position is therefore rather than kill them let us show that we pride in the primacy of life, let us engage them in proactive dialogue, let us prove to them that peace is the greatest force in God’s universe and true love the strongest weapon that has ever been.
3. Dialogue is not weakness but the deepest display of strength; since Mr. President has conceded that Boko Haram has sponsors in government alas finally they are not faceless, thus making the task of talking and the challenge of winning peace at the table of dialogue a whole lot easier.
Countrymen and Compatriots, our vision and mission as The Third Forum is indiscriminate of the politics of the ruling party and that of the opposition, we are poised to always dispassionately lampoon the wrong policies of government as well as the wrong posturing of the partisan opposition, we are the third force, we are a forum committed to the wellbeing of the Nigerian people, the rich and the poor, the Christian and the Muslim, the Southerner and the Northerner, and our dichotomies notwithstanding. God Bless Nigeria.
Dr. Chris Nwaokobia Jnr. (National Co-Ordinator)
Dr. Mike Uyi (International Co-Ordinator)