Sunday, July 27, 2014 12:41 pm
The Trust Newspaper has spoken exclusively with Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi, who was nearly killed by a bomb attack in Kaduna last Wednesday. Bauchi, an Islamic Scholar, who was once involved in a failed attempt to broker peace with Boko Haram is the Deputy Chairman of the Fatwa Committee of the National Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and one of the leaders of the Followers of Tijjaniyya in the World. He is performing Lesser Hajj in Saudi Arabia. Here is the interview…
There was a bomb attack in Kaduna last Wednesday. Many believe you were the target. How did it happen?
We thank God the Almighty. The bomb exploded on our way back home at the end of the annual closing of Ramadan Tafsir. It exploded near our vehicle, but we thank the Almighty Allah for accepting our prayers. We are all safe, except for the glasses of our vehicle that got broken. Allah answered our prayers because when one saw the large number of people that attended the closing session of the Tafsir, he would know that God answered our prayers. I believe only Allah saved us from the attack. And I am appealing to Muslims to continue to pray for peace and stability in Nigeria.
Who must be after your life and why?
I am not blaming anybody.
It is said that this is the third or fourth time that attempts have been made to assassinate you?
No this was the first time it had happened to me.
Some people are blaming Boko Haram for the attack, though no group has claimed responsibility?
The real Boko Haram two years back asked me to negotiate for peace on their behalf with the Federal Government. They believed that if I was leading the negotiation, there would be sincerity; they would not be deceived again, as they were deceived two times previously. They believed in me because they thought government cannot deceive me. I agreed with their request. l approached the government. But there were some persons within the government who didn’t want the peace negotiations. They sabotaged our effort, because at that time the real Boko Haram waw serious about the peace deal. They asked me to tell the government that if the authorities were sincere, they should make their commitments in writing. I told the government, and they gave me a written document, saying they were interested in negotiating with the sect. After we submitted the letter, everything came to a standstill for four months.
“But there were some persons within the government who didn’t want the peace negotiations. They sabotaged our effort, because at that time the real Boko Haram waw serious about the peace deal.”…Dahiru Bauchi
I approached the sect that we had made so many promises, but with no action. If would agree to it, we should observe a cease fire for three months. I would go and tell government to stop arresting their members, and, they too,would stop attacking people so that there will be ceasefire from both sides, while negotiations continued. But some people within the government did not support the deal. As I told you, when Boko Haram realized that some people were sabotaging the peace deal, they developed cold feet. They demanded that they wanted the ceasefire agreement published in national newspapers. We published it in the newspapers. But people who were against the peace deal sabotaged it and everything collapsed. I stopped discussing the matter with the sect because they were the ones who invited me for the negotiation.
Your picture was recently published in the national dailies.You were with President Goodluck Jonathan. What did you discuss with him? Did he ask you about the peace deal negotiations?
We did not discuss anything. They have been inviting me through so many prominent people. They’ve persuaded me to attend their functions for more than 10 times now, but I did not honour them, until the last one I attended. At the function, I was asked to offer prayers, which I did. That’s all. They were speaking in English Language, which I did not understand so much.
Now, what is the position of the ceasefire deal with Boko Haram? Are you still involved in it?
As I told you earlier, everything has collapsed, because of certain interests. I will use this opportunity to appeal to all Nigerians to live in peace with one another. Muslims should continue to pray to Almighty Allah to end the insecurity which has bedevilled the country. Whoever feels aggrieved or disturbed about any incident should, please, be patient and continue to pray for peace and stability in the country.