House: Lawmakers Divided On Proposed Amnesty For Boko Haram


ABUJA, April 14, (THEWILL) – There appears to be a sharp division among members of the House of the Representatives over the proposed amnesty for members of Boko Haram by the Federal Government.

The division came as President Goodluck Jonathan, last week, set up an amnesty committee to work out modalities on the proposed offer to the insurgents.

These developments are however coming as the leader of Boko Haram, Mohammed Shekau, dismissed the idea of amnesty for his members, though governors of some northern states are said to have opened talks with members of the sect.

Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Works, Hon. Mohammed Ali Wudil, who also represents Wudil federal constituency of Kano State, said amnesty is the best way to end violence in the northern region as he advised the Federal Government not to abandon the process in spite of the widespread criticism.

But another member representing Jos South/East federal constituency, Hon. Bitrus Kaze, faulted the Federal Government on the amnesty plan, saying President Goodluck Jonathan has only succeeded in exposing his incompetence and has shown that he is incapable of running the country.

According to Kaze, "Amnesty for Boko Haram is good. Though they say they are faceless, yet we are feeling the heat. They have killed many of our people. In fact, even if they refuse to come out, government should go and look for them and talk to them in their faceless condition."

Kaze however described the plan of the Federal Government as unreasonable, saying it could backfire . He added that the amnesty arrangement was a mere political strategy by the president to gain support of the north in 2015. He however warned that the President will be jilted at the end and will regret his decision.

"I am unable to see any motivation for rewarding unrepentant killers other than an attempt to please their mentors who in the longer run will not even support President Jonathan's ambition.

"The Boko Haram terrorists have disgraced and ridiculed President Goodluck Jonathan's government. I am not sure any President of Nigeria has brought so much ridicule to our national pride and sovereignty by his inconsistent statements and policies on security.

"A government that is unable to protect or defend its citizens from years of incessant brutality by the ever-rampaging Boko Haram terrorist proceeds to reward the same terrorists even when they, in their continued remorselessness, have categorically rejected the offer.

"Latest developments have exposed the fact that the real motive of the advocates for their amnesty who I , with all sense of responsibility, consider as their mentors, is anything except the security and well being of Nigerians," Kaze said.

He however cautioned Jonathan to rethink the offer, warning that "The amnesty programme being contemplated by President Goodluck Jonathan exposes our hardworking security agencies to danger,” adding “Nothing can be more demotivating for them."