Abuja - The Member representing Jos South/Jos East in the Federal House of Representatives, Bitrus Kaze, has condemned reported efforts being made by the Federal Government to offer amnesty to Boko Haram terrorist group.
There have been reports of a possible discussion between government and the terrorists that would culminate in the release of jailed Boko Haram members in exchange of the more than 200 schoolgirls other sect members abducted in Chibok, Borno State more than a month ago.
Kaze described the offer as “a step in the wrong direction.”
According to him, such efforts, coming at a time the international community has declared to support Nigeria to stamp out terrorism, will “boomerang.”
“I do not subscribe to any form of dialogue with terrorists. We will not grow weary of making the point resoundingly clear that no country the world over has succeeded in curbing the menace that way. Motivated by the tension, anxiety and sense of fear permeating the nation as a result of terrorism, ethno-religious cum regional champions who muted this awkward idea are not pacified as predicted. This should explain exactly why the Alhaji Kabiru Turaki dialogue committee was and will continue to be a perpetual failure,” said Kaze.
The lawmaker, whose state was recently a victim of a bomb blast blamed on the Boko Haram, observed that when President Goodluck Jonathan first made the amnesty offer to the Boko Haram terrorists in April last year, terrorists scoffed at the offer.
“The terrorists categorically declined and instead offered amnesty to Mr. President!”
“If government was planning another amnesty for the terrorists, why were we bothered with any extension of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States just about a fortnight ago? It is crystal clear from the instrument seeking the extension of emergency rule and our interaction with Service Chiefs that the primary objective for which the extension of the emergency rule was sought ab initio was to enable government consolidate on the gains of our military campaigns not amnesty offer,” said Kaze.
He added, “If some of us had inkling that the extension of the emergency rule will be followed with another amnesty to the terrorist, we would have emphatically voted against it. Government would have misappropriated precious time in the likelihood of failure of this new amnesty offer. The condition precedent to approaching the National Assembly less than six months from now with another request for extension of the current emergency rule is being created already.”
He further lambasted Jonathan’s handling of the terror problem.
“Reportage in both local and international media says President Jonathan has been seeking support from his counterparts across the globe in fighting terrorism. Did he also seek foreign assistance in offering amnesty to terrorists? We need our foreign allies if the gains of our war against terrorism must not be reversed.”
- CAJ News