Beyond Amnesty For Boko Haram

Beyond Amnesty For Boko Haram

Left to the urgent demand of the moment, it is time for President Goodluck Jonathan to adopt a full-scale kill-at-sight measures that will allow the security personnel to squarely confront the burgeoning terrorist war being waged against the nation by the Boko Haram sect.

No matter how the ugly situation in the North-East and North-West zones is viewed or whatever anybody wants to say otherwise about it, the truth is that Nigeria and Nigerians in general are currently being assaulted, subverted, subjugated, dehumanised and depicted as incapable of defending themselves in what is now clearly the North’s own brand of civil war.

It therefore becomes imperative for President Jonathan to invoke and deploy all that is needed to fight this civil war declared against the entire nation.

Though it may be somewhat difficult to say that the entire people of these zones are all in full support of this gory war which is led by Boko Haram, it is increasingly becoming impossible to believe that the vast majority of inhabitants of these areas are not aiding and abetting this war either as accomplices before or after the fact of the commission of their crime against humanity.

Except, perhaps, for a few indigenous people of these areas whose religious and/or ethnic interest makes it impossible for them to espouse this cause of killing spree, there is no evidence to show that all the people do not, beneath their innermost hearts, take delight in this incessant bloodletting that now characterises life in Nigeria.

Apart from the obvious conspiracy of silence that has been adopted by especially the Northern elders, the seemingly thoughtless clamour for the granting of amnesty to blood-suckers and miscreants by those of them who would have done well to be worried for being indifferent while the she goat delivered at the teeter further bears testimony to their morbid fascination over the overflowing haemorrhage in the land.

And it is quite unfortunate that since after the fiasco that almost took the life of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, core-Northerner leaders have all become so cowardly that even to stand up to give Boko Haram members who are very well known to them a simple talking-to is now considered as an act of being foolhardy. Instead, these so-called leaders have resorted to calling on the government to urgently begin to consider what naturally should be regarded as the craziest option of dialogue, let alone the crass idea of amnesty for common criminals.

In short, no less disappointing is the sound of the voice of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubarkar, in this regard. And to say the least, this is quite disappointing because this is one man who should know by virtue of his status as the number one religious leader of the Muslim community in Nigeria that since Islam is said not to be encouraging violence, there is therefore no basis for calling on the government to either go into dialogue or grant amnesty to the perpetrators of violence, or the same people of his faith who have spilled blood in the name of Islam.

What is more, even as a military man, the Sultan has no illusion about the inherent capitulation the inferior forces of bloody civilians – epitomised by the Boko Haram members – will occasion as well as the ignominy such a retrogressive action would produce.

But if the argument in favour of amnesty for Boko Haram is anything to go by or compared with the kind of fate the Niger Delta militants are inclined to enjoy, then it behooves the Sultan and other sympathisers of the Boko Haram to show patriotic Nigerians reasonable justification for the dastardly acts of the sect or, better still, rationalise their positions beyond the mere desperate wishful thinking and desire to be treated as kings with the help of the lion’s share of another man’s resources.

Much as it is pretty hard not to be misunderstood over one’s position on this issue, the truth about the danger in granting the Niger Delta kind of amnesty to members of Boko Haram and their ilk in the North is that, the very day such is allowed to happen, nearly the entire population of mainly the North-East and the North-West would readily come out to surrender themselves as all members of the sect.

And there is no gainsaying that almost the entire budget of the Federal Government will be channelled to this programme.

Onyiorah Paschal,

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