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    Posted August 17, 2014 by

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    Says he’s ready to put on Army uniform and defend Nigeria  • Urges Jonathan not to negotiate with Boko Haram  A  former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, has declared ex-Niger Delta militants like Asari Dokubo, who are in the habit of threatening to declare war if some of their expectations were not met as noisemakers, as noisemakers.  Babangida, who clocks 73 today, spoke in an interview with journalists at his hilltop mansion in Minna, Niger State last week. Asari has on some occasions threatened that the Niger Delta would go to war or scede from Nigeria if President Goodluck Jonathan is not re-elected in 2015.  But Babangida said the ex-militants preferred to sit in the comfort of cozy hotels in Abuja and make threats instead of relocating to their hometowns in the Niger Delta to galvanise their people for positive purposes. “I don’t see the rantings of the so-called ex-militants as a threat. I don’t see it as a problem because those who are ranting only do it in posh hotels in Abuja; you don’t see them with the people. I challenge anyone of them to go there (creeks) and say I am the leader, I will take you to war.  Nobody is doing that , they will just sit down and shout and you guys (reporters) make big headlines out of some of the things they say and it stops there. “I would be glad to see anyone of them either in the creeks or in the forests telling the people to follow him, I’m going to lead you. As long as they don’t that, then I think all is just ranting.  They are being given publicity for it and they enjoy it. I want to see them in uniform, saying, ‘look here, come, let me lead you’. They won’t do it, I think the Nigerian public, all of us should just ignore them. “We have had history of real leaders, I will give credit to Isaac Boro for example.  In 1964, he was a young officer, he had the people, he led the people and he was a very charismatic person. Now these guys are enjoying and they would sit down and say they would go to war.  They should try it and let’s see what happens. I would also put on my uniform, I still have a spare one.” He also expressed concern over the deployment of soldiers in election duties in the country.  The former head of state said he was worried that the regular use of soldiers for election duties would lead to compromising the military. He said that instead, government should strengthen the Nigeria Police Force and make it capable of handling security matters during elections. Babangida also advised President Goodluck Jonathan not to negotiate with the Boko Haram sect, noting that he was confident that the Nigerian Armed Forces could handle the security challenge posed by the insurgents.  “Well, you go into negotiations with people you know, people you can identify, people you see, so whom do you negotiate with? That is the problem. Who? Surely, I don’t believe the Federal Government should call (Boko Haram leader Abubakar) Shekau to sit at the table and talk. This is my personal opinion. So whom do you talk to?  Nobody! If there are identified persons who for one reason or the other, everybody knows them, they are fighting, they come out openly to say this is what they are doing, yes, that is fair enough but nobody knows whom to talk to.  So to be fair to the Federal Government, whom do they talk to? Tomorrow, if they come out to say this is the leadership, this is the structure, these are our grievances, this is what we want, they can sit

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