Jonathan did not offer Boko Haram amnesty says Abati
The Presidency has denied claims that President Goodluck Jonathan did offer amnesty to members of the Boko Haram sect.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said this while addressing State House correspondents.
According to him ““In that speech, if you look at, I don't think the President used amnesty, instead he spoke about those who are willing to renounce terrorism and those who are willing to embrace peace.
“Opportunities have been created for them through the fact-finding committee and through the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolutions of Conflict in the North Eastern part of Nigeria. So I will refer you to the speech by the President.”
Minister of Youth Development, Mr. Boni Haruna, had on Thursday said Jonathan had given amnesty to members Boko Haram as part of his administration's youth-friendly programmes and policies.
While giving an overview of youths' position in the present administration's transformation agenda at a special event tagged 'A day with young leaders of Nigeria' to mark the nation's Democracy Day in Abuja, the minister said series of integration programmes had been lined up for members of the sect who would surrender their arms and embrace peace.
But Abati said the President did not use any word like amnesty.
He said what Jonathan said was that opportunities had been created for those who wanted to denounce terrorism through the Presidential Fact-Finding Committee and Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolutions of Conflict in the North Eastern part of Nigeria.
The presidential spokesman said, “Let me refer you to the speech by the President. If you read the speech line-by-line, you will see that it contains the very message that the President wanted to put across.
Abati said the President was sad when he heard about the Friday killing of the Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Idrisa Timta, who was one of the three emirs ambushed by members of the sect on Biu-Azare-Garkida Road in Borno State.
He said the incident had further portrayed the insurgents as people who are desperately threatening the peace and stability of the country.