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Boko Haram amnesty threatened

19 April 2013, 16:20

Abuja - Some prominent Nigerians northerners have pulled out of a presidential think-tank that was stitched together to thrash out a peace deal with terrorist group Boko Haram.

The committee, which was assigned to develop a framework for granting amnesty to members of the rag-tag militia, started coming apart at the seams when rights activist Shehu Sanni declined nomination.

The committee was further weakened when Dr. Ibrahim Datti Ahmad and Dr. Ahmad Gumi two leading opinion makers from the north snubbed it.

Desperate to end hostilities that have destabilised northern Nigeria, the Federal government has extended an olive branch to Boko Haram, although this appears to have touched a raw nerve with it the group’s victims and opponents.

President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration hoped the committee would persuade the militia to lay down arms within 60 days to pave way for assistance to start flowing to victims, mainly Christians.

Sanni, a civil rights activist and president of the Kaduna-based Civil Rights Congress (CRC), announced his decision on twitter.

Dr Ahmad is president of the Supreme Council of Sharia in Nigeria and one of a small number of people believed to have the nous to influence the Boko Haram hierarchy.

Also a shadowy group calling itself the Middle Belt Dialogue has cautioned Jonathan against granting an unconditional pardon to the Islamist sect.

In an open letter, its leader, Emmanuel Alamu catalogued killings carried out by the sect, labelling them a bitter reminder of Boko Haram’s atrocities against Christians.

But the former Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff has described opposition to the amnesty as “despicable”.

- CAJ News


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