As you read this, President Goodluck Jonathan may be on the verge of granting amnesty to the Boko Haram insurgent group at the behest of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), who met with him during the week to discuss this sensitive issue.
Advocates of amnesty for Boko Haram are pointing to the Niger Delta precedent to justify this call which is clearly symptomatic of the frustration of the governing elite in the face of a stalemated war that has no borders, or a specific target or a discernible, civilised objective.
Other than the abolition of western education and the imposition of Sharia in the North, the group isn’t saying anything worthwhile; even these demands are as idiotic as they are unreasonable. How do we begin to turn back the clock of civilisation because of a few misguided armed marabouts?
Amnesty, meanwhile, seems an easy way out of a crisis that appears to be turning gradually into a quagmire like is the case of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq where living with terror has become a way of life. It was once a virtual impossibility to imagine that Nigerians would be living with terror, but that, for us, is now a terrifying reality. And the ruling elite have themselves to blame for this embarrassing war.
There’s no shred of evidence that the Jonathan administration, despite its lackadaisical approach, is not doing its best in the fight against terrorism and other violent crimes. The escalation of violence of all shades- armed robberies, kidnappings, ritual killings, domestic violence, face book-related attacks and terrorism, is a clear indication that its best efforts are not enough. It is time to change gear.Continue reading