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Boko Haram: Let’s give amnesty option a chance – Ndoma-Egba

By Michael Jegede

Senate leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba has said that the proposed amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect, which necessitated the setting up of a dialogue committee by the federal government, should be given a chance.

The Senate Leader, representing Cross River Central Senatorial District in the Red Chamber made the remark in Abuja, while reacting to the eventual approval of the constitution of a presidential committee on Boko Haram to develop a framework for the granting of amnesty.

He described the move as a welcome development that must be embraced by all citizens of the country as a way finding lasting solution to the incessant killing of innocent Nigerians for no fault of theirs.

According to him, the government must be supported in this current effort to restore peace in the north and resolve the crisis of insecurity in the country.

His words: “We cannot allow this incessant killing of innocent Nigerians to continue. Whatever we need to do must be done to stop this dastardly act. That is why I think it is very much important that we give this option of amnesty a chance and see whether it will succeed or not. We hope that it succeeds because we cannot continue to watch our countrymen and women being sent to their early grave due to the activities of the Boko Haram sect. It is an unusual situation that every Nigerian will like to see an end to. So, our approach will also be unconventional. But while trying to bring the situation under control and the phenomenon to an end, we should also know that there are victims of the acts of this group. So, the victims must also be in the picture of whatever strategy the government is putting in place.”

On the reported rejection of the proposed amnesty offer by members of the sect, Ndoma-Egba said: “That was the reaction I expected. You won't expect them to just jump at it. At this point, it is always like that. They will say we don't want to talk. We don't want to talk. Everywhere you have had this kind of situation; that is the initial reaction. So, it is not an unusual reaction. But I think it will be good for them to accept the offer in the interest of peace and unity of the country.”

FROM MICHAEL JEGEDE
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
ABUJA