Nigeria News: Amnesty For Terrorists
Nigeria News takes a look at the plan by President Muhammadu Buhari’s led government to grant amnesty to members of Boko Haram who would renounce their membership.
President Muhammadu Buhari said last week that his government would not mind granting amnesty to Boko Haram members that are ready to renounce their membership.
The Jama ‘atu Nasril Islam led by Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III easily welcomed the idea but the Christian Association of Nigeria kicked against.
To CAN, granting amnesty to terrorists is a great injustice to many Nigerians whose loved ones had been killed by Boko Haram in the last seven years.
The Federal Government has been in talks with Boko Haram to cease fire in the last few years and following the release of the 104 abducted pupils of the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State last week, the Federal Government quickly went on air that its dialogue with the insurgents had begun to yield good results.
As the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed rightly put it, “Unknown to many, we have been in wider cessation-of-hostility talks with the insurgents for some time now. We were able to leverage on the wider talks when the Dapchi girls were abducted. The ultimate aim is the permanent cessation of hostilities.”
Wars, mostly come to an end through victory on the battlefield, or in some cases through talks. But religious wars are different. And in a secular country like Nigeria, negotiating with Boko Haram will in the not too distant future present formidable problems, especially from Southern Nigeria.
Discussing with Boko Haram will necessitate concessions rather than cessation. The group wants a Theocracy. Ours is a Democracy. But beyond this silly idea of negotiating with a group that has been described as the worst of its kind in the world today is the question of sincerity on the part of the Federal Government.
The Niger Delta militants were out for equity in Nigeria’s flawed Federal System of Government. A region that sustains Nigeria is treated just like a cow that is milked and discarded later. They did not attack civilians. They did not suggest taking over the country turning it into the Niger Delta Republic instead of Nigeria.
IPOB did not destroy whole towns. The group did not carry out pogroms against unarmed civilians. Despite its series of incendiary statements, IPOB did not kill Nigerian soldiers in a move to overrun the country. Yet, the military was deployed in a fashion different from what is happening in the North-East.
There should be no negotiation with Boko Haram. Instead, Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma’s suggestion should be adopted FULLY – suspend all democratic structures in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states and allow Military Administrators to be in charge. Give them a time limit to chase out Boko Haram from every inch of Nigerian soil.
It will also be good that consequent upon declaring the total state of emergency in the aforementioned states, Nigeria’s border with the Niger Republic, Chad and Cameroon should be closed for the duration of the offensive against Boko Haram. Currently, politicians, some retired and serving military personnel are no doubt involved with Boko Haram.
Only a total state of emergency in the three states can permanently stop Boko Haram. Of course, the current leadership of the military has to be swept aside for the operation to be successful. But this recourse to negotiation is like giving life to Boko Haram to gather more strength. They will strike again, and it will not be the North-East alone this time around.