The priest in charge of the St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Rev Isaac Achi, said yesterday that the amnesty offer would afford Nigerians the opportunity to know those who had been causing the havoc in the country.
He said the Federal Government should know that people were killed, injured and rendered useless by the actions of Boko Haram members.
The clergyman said if the government could consider amnesty for the Boko Haram members it must compensate those rendered useless by the Boko Haram members.
“If granting amnesty for the same group we have been looking for, the federal government should also compensate those who were victims of their attacks, we have been waiting for peace,” he said.
He said that the amnesty would “at least afford us to know them, who is this Mr. A or B who does not like the good of Nigeria and has been causing it havoc. In fact, it will make us know who are for the good of this country”.
Former President-General of Ohanaeze, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, yesterday asked the government to take any action that could lead to the resolution of the security challenges caused by the activities of Boko Haram.
Reacting to the plan of the government to grant amnesty to members of Boko Haram, Dr. Ikedife, urged President Jonathan to pursue any programme that would lead to the restoration of peace in the country.
Another leader of Ohanaeze, Dr. Joe Nwaorgu, declined comment on the issue, describing it as too “weighty.”
Dr. Nwaorgu who emerged as secretary-general of the organisation during its last December controversial election of members of the National Executive Committee, told journalists that the association would soon come up with a position on the matter.
Boko Haram is not a movement, that is it is not an ideology shared or supported by a large number of people. BH is an organization whose ideology is shared only by its few adherents. The inability to identify the membership of the group, especially its leadership, isolate it and decisively deal with the organization is simply a failure of intelligence on the part of the security services; or lack of political will by the government of the day. Any serious government would have long resolved the BH menace.
But be that as it may, now that amnesty is proposed for the group, let those who call for amnesty first identify, engage and convince the group’s leadership to accept amnesty and renounce violence. Without first attaining this, amnesty is doomed on arrival. And if that happens (God forbid), then the nation will be worse off, both security wise and politically. Both government and the proponents of amnesty MUST tread carefully on this minefield.