The Presidency, yesterday fired back at those calling for amnesty for the Boko Haram sect, saying they were politicising the issue.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said this in statement in Abuja.
It would be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan had, in his recent visit to Yobe State said the Federal Government can not grant amnesty to the Islamic Boko Haram and its allies, because, amnesty can only be granted to people with a face and an identity..
He had said, “We cannot declare amnesty for Boko Haram because we cannot declare amnesty for ghosts. You cannot liken Boko Haram to what happened in the Niger Delta.”
Prior to his declaration, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar III, had called on the Federal Government to grant Boko Haram total amnesty for peace to reign.
Some prominent Nigerians, including a former Federal Capital Territory Minister, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and an ex-Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, faulted the President.
According to Ribadu, “Jonathan was wrong to have said that he will not grant amnesty to Boko Haram; he should not fail to protect the people and when people call saying ‘we are tired; we are down’ even if it means to dialogue and have a solution to the whole process, he should opt for such.”
But Okupe, in a communique issued on Monday, said the proponents of Boko Haram Amnesty should learn from how the amnesty programme in the Niger Delta was brokered.
He added that Jonathan had nothing to gain from the prolonged wanton destruction of life and property by members of the sect.
Okupe disclosed that Monarchs in the affected states should prevail on the leadership of the sect to abandon “their destructive pursuit and embrace dialogue”, like the Militants in the Niger Delta did before amnesty was granted to them.