More details emerged yesterday on the membership of the Amnesty Committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday.
Reliable sources disclosed to LEADERSHIP Weekend that the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III will head the amnesty committee.
The sources listed other members of the panel as Major Abdulrasheed Aliyu, a former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasauki (rtd), Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, the director-general of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), and a representative of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF).
At his meeting with NEF leaders led by Dan Masani of Kano, Alhaji Maitama Sule in the State House on Tuesday night, President Jonathan accepted granting amnesty to Boko Haram members.
He held a meeting with security chiefs on the issue the next day before announcing the setting up of the amnesty committee.
Already, prominent northern leaders have appealed to members of the Boko Haram sect to immediately accept the amnesty offered to them by President Jonathan by sheathing their sword.
The appeal to the group to renounce violence and accept the president’s gesture was made by Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI) and the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF).
Meanwhile, Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State and his Jigawa State counterpart, Alhaji Sule Lamido, who spoke on the issue yesterday at the Presidential Villa, declared that amnesty committee was President Jonathan’s humble submission to the yearnings of northern leaders over the plight of the people in the region.
Some Borno State elders also welcomed the development but remarked that it would have been more apt if the president had announced the measure during his recent visit to the state.
But the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned the president’s action, describing it as insensitive to the plight of victims of the insurgency led by the armed group.
The leadership of St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State, one of the churches that suffered from one of the devastating attacks launched by Boko Haram, said the amnesty offer would enable Nigerians know the killers of their members.
Leaders of the ACF and JNI however, said the proposed amnesty was long overdue considering its implication for peaceful development in the country.
In an interview with LEADERSHIP Weekend, the General Secretary of the JNI, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, said, “We welcome the idea and wished that the committee set up by the president will do a better job.
“If the government had taken this step since, they would have prevented the killings of innocent lives through the act of bombing and terrorism.
“The action is good and it is a right step in a right direction. But we will wait to see the commitment of the committee members.”
The JNI however, urged members of the Boko Haram sect to accept the amnesty offer by coming out to dialogue with the federal government in the interest of peace and development.
“We urge them to come out and dialogue. Because, we believe amnesty is the only way we can restore peace in the country.
So they should accept it,” he said.
ACF spokesman, Mr. Anthony Sani, told LEADERSHIP Weekend that, “though the forum will also make its input to the committee, we believe that the president has shown serious commitment to the issue.
We believe the Boko Haram sect will accept the offer at the end of the day.
To Shema,”If a committee on amnesty is set up, it is done because Nigerians and leaders from the northern part of the country are yearning for a quick resolution to the matter.
And the president is responding positively to this request so that our nation can go on in peace, progress and development.”
After a meeting with the president at the Presidential Villa, Abuja yesterday, Governor Lamido said wisdom had prevailed in Jonathan’s decision to grant amnesty to the sect.
Governor Shema had earlier faulted allegation from some northerners that the Northern States Governors’ Forum never championed the amnesty move, saying, “that cannot be correct because if you remember, the body did set up a special committee on peace, healing and reconciliation.
“And that committee has been working very hard and is submitting its second report to the Northern Governors’ Forum and certainly all hands are on deck including traditional institutions, religious and political leaders, even from the services – military, the police, SSS are all part of that committee,” he added.
Shema further said, “So, there have been very serious efforts by the Northern Governors’ Forum to tackle this insecurity in northern Nigeria.
I believe if a security committee is set up is in good faith, is for the good of Nigeria and for the resolution to the crisis that has bedevilled most of northern Nigeria on the issue of insecurity.
“My piece of advice is that there is no nation that can progress without peace and stability.
We need peace and all hands be on deck, those who are aggrieved for one reason or the other should come forward and be able to resolve this crisis, such that our nation and our people can progress and develop rapidly.”
Lamido said: “Wisdom has prevailed. It is all about what do we do to secure our country especially, when Nigeria becomes a country that is very secure and stable so that we confront the problems of human development.
“This country needs our energy, our political skill and a number of things which are begging for attention.
Therefore, whatever it is to be able to get Nigeria united, so to get Nigeria very secure we should do it. So, ignore whatever has been the other misconceptions, we are now doing the right thing.”
Dr. Hassan Hussaini of Bulunkutu Ward Community Islamic Centre, Maiduguri who is also one of the Borno leaders said, “We welcome the decision and setting up of the committee.
We actually expected that the amnesty will come at the end of the day.
We knew that the president will one day listen to the people, particularly, the elders and leaders of the northern part of the country who have severally expressed themselves and demanded for his leniency over the matter to grant them the amnesty like the Sultan of Sokoto who the national president of the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs.”
Another elder, Mallam Mohammed Bulabulin, who is also an Islamic scholar in Maiduguri, told LEADERSHIP Weekend that “the constitution of an amnesty committee for the Boko Haram is a good development and Borno people are happy with the development, but it is left to the Boko Haram members to ceasefire and embrace dialogue.”
PDP Declares Jonathan Great Nigerian President
Also yesterday, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) commended President Jonathan for constituting the Amnesty Committee on Boko Haram.
It said the move was yet another demonstration of the president’s sincerity and forthrightness in handling national issues.
In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the party said the president had shown that, “he is indeed a listening leader and that the unity of the country is paramount to him in line with the vision of the founding fathers of our nation.
“We believe the initiative of the President in setting up the Amnesty Committee is the best decision at the moment and we are optimistic that this drive will yield the desired results in the general good and restore the unity of our nation.”
CAN Condemns Amnesty For Boko Haram
Addressing victims of the recent attacks in some Kaduna villages, who are camped at Model Primary School in Fadan Attakar, CAN Secretary-General, Rev. Musa Asake, said the amnesty offer was an outright insensitivity to the thousands of victims who had either died, maimed or displaced as a result of the activities of a group of dissidents.
Asake said that it was unfortunate that Northern elders could even call for amnesty for the perpetrators of heinous crimes instead of demanding for their prosecution.
“Here are innocent people driven from their homes and separated from their loved ones for no crime of theirs. That is why I consider the Northern elders’ call for amnesty for Boko Haram members as insensitive.
While many people, some of whom are women and children are deprived of their bread winners, somebody somewhere who does not know how to live without security is saying give amnesty to some faceless individuals.
It is unfair and these are the so-called elite in the North who would not even visit and see what is happening to the victims,” he said.
The Chairman of Kaura Local Government Area, Hon. Kumat Badu, explained that the attack got his people off guard, stressing that henceforth, they would never be caught napping again, that a time has come that they should all get on their feet, saying that they are putting measures on ground to protect their people.
Nigerians Will Know Killers – Madalla Catholic Church
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 LEADERSHIP Weekend that the association would soon come up with a position on the matter.
However, Evangelist Uko, president, Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) who spoke to LEADERSHIP WEEKEND on a private capacity, said it was wrong to grant amnesty to the Boko Haram members, whom he described as “murderers.”
Hmm let the controvertial sultan call his mad dogs (boko haram) to other,he has never condemn them but always Insist that even in christianity there are bad people since he became the sultan he has sent his virus of hatered against christianity into muslims across the country,since going to osun state he has instigated Aragbesola to almost cause war between christians and moslems a case is in the court on the issue,all are islamic jihadist arangements,amnesty to hardened and unrepentant boko haram members is the most fraudulent ploy of the north ,and mark my word it is the begining of the spliting of Nigeria because it has started failing already,at least the wicked sultan has proved To d world they are his erand boys,we pray sa’ad abubakar will not set d country on fire due to his blind and over zealousness for Islam,even a dog called moslem he respect more than d most pious christian,we know those who will share the money at last,d least of boko haram won’t get a penny,Goodluck Jonathan must be wary of d sultan and d northern elders because He is the target,they only use few christians to disguise,take note
Sammy…u must be very stupid, foolish,selfish and unpatriotic Nigerian. if i may ask, why are you treating National issues with sentiment? where were you when that animal in the name of CAN president condemned Islamic Banking. where were you when the same monkey condemned the appointment of the IG of
police just because he is a muslim,etc. go and find out the remaining.. I want to assure you that, with people like u, Nigeria will not move forward. Nonsense. whether u like it or nt, Islam is nt boko haram Isla is a religion of peace..if you dont know,better know today that…boko haram is the worse enemy of Islam.
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.
jonny god bless u.
Jonny’ is a fake name for u..
Islam might not be terrorist
bet” all terrorist are muslims .. Fools like uare calling some1 names,,
just becos he said a simple truth.
Islam is a religious of war all over the world”
wait there and keep deceivn by ur untruthful blind and acultic vampire leaders.
Utman danfdio and some wicked evil politicians in the north.
Wake up frome ur slumbed bed’
Only truth wil save u from boko haram darkness