THE National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, on Wednesday, said there was no basis for the Federal Government to dialogue with the dreaded Boko Haram sect.
He also berated the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Nurudeen, for categorising Nigeria as the most Christian populated Islamic nation in the world.
The CAN president, who spoke with newsmen in Akure, the Ondo State capital, after the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the association, said the only condition for dialogue was for Boko Haram to stop its activities.
He said it would be wrong for the government to dialogue with the group while it continued with the killings of innocent people.
Oritsejafor said: "Life is about dialogue; we can't move forward without dialogue; war cannot solve the problem, but there should be basis for dialogue.
"The dialogue being talked about is a strange one. I am a bit puzzled about the dialogue. Before we can talk of dialogue. There has to be ground rules.
"Boko Haram has never hidden its condition for peace to reign in Nigeria. They have asked President Goodluck Jonathan to either resign or accept Islam as his religion. It is total religious fundamentalism and it is against the constitution of Nigeria.
"It is not as if some of us are against dialogue but if there should be dialogue, they (Boko Haram) should first suspend their action. The whole concept is wrong".
The CAN president, however, said efforts should be made to bring the onslaught of the group against the people to an end.
According to him, since it was obvious that the group believed in extreme religion ideology, there was the need for a change in the orientation of the members of the group.
This, he said, could be effected by Sheikhs and Imams that are preaching and teaching in several mosques across the northern part of the country.
He said, "what Boko Haram believes is extreme religion ideology. There is ideology problem caused by some preachers that teach those things that are against the unity of the country.
"So respected leaders should call the sheikhs and Imams that are also respected by Boko Haram members to talk to these preachers to be concerned about peace and progress of the nation."
Oritsejafor also suggested a military aspect to the solution, saying the security agencies in the country should exchange information on security threats.
Speaking on the membership of Organisation of Islamic Countries by Nigeria, the CAN president said the statement by the minister was worrisome, adding that it was wrong for the minister to have called Nigeria an Islamic nation.
He explained that there had never been a population census, where the figure of Muslims and Christians were stated in the country.
He, however, expressed disappointment over the statement, saying the minister should explain to Nigerians the source of his information.