Dear Mr. President,
You simply can not afford to negotiate with Boko Haram. If you do, a majority of Northerners and Southerners who voted for you will owe your predecessor Dr. Goodluck Jonathan a profuse apology. It would mean that all your tough words on dealing with Boko Haram were insincere or plain bluff. You simply can not negotiate with a terrorist group that has murdered thousands of Nigerian Moslems and Christians, destroyed normal life and a lot of infrastructure in the North East of Nigeria, raped, killed and abducted thousands of women and girls. You will destroy a great deal of your political credibility by negotiating with the very enemy you had committed yourself to destroy. I can not imagine, sir why you should even consider the idea.

I think you should also realize that the presence of Boko Haram detainees in the South East is absolutely a national security risk. Imagine if in an effort to free its members, Boko Haram succeeds in launching a terror attack, anywhere near Onitsha or Aba, killing innocent Easterners. This could spark off a reprisal attack on Northerners living in the East, a land crawling with renewed Biafran sentiments. Such a reprisal could spark off another bloody round of killings in the North drawing Nigeria into a terrible season of bloodshed and emergency rule. That would make Jonathan’s mistakes seem like a picnic. Sir, in such a situation, you would have worsened the situation. You would have unwittingly aided Boko Haram in its avowed mission of plunging Nigeria into darkness.

Finally, I urge you, on your visit to President Obama to yield not even in an inch, to cut him no slack in the matter of our people’s total rejection of homosexuality. Any friendship with the United States must be based on mutual respect. I wish you every success.

Andy Briggs.

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