The Congress for Progressive Change has said amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect is possible, if only the Federal Government is sincere about it.
The National Publicity Secretary of CPC, Rotimi Fashakin told that the amnesty option was viable, but for the insincerity of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
He said, “You will recall that Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) has always said there are three variants of Boko Haram and that remains his position even till today. You have the religious Boko Haram, which is the offshoot of the Yusuf Mohammed-led group, that is still very angry at the extrajudicial killing of their leader, Yusuf. Then you have the criminal Boko Haram, which is only hiding behind a religious face to bomb public places, loot and steal. Then you have the political Boko Haram which Jonathan regime represents, which is the most lethal. If you now say you want to give amnesty to Boko Haram, which of the Boko Haram are you talking about? That is the question that needs to be asked.
“Amnesty is workable if the Federal Government is sincere. We believe that Jonathan and Boko Haram are the same. That is why he found it convenient to hide under the excuse that he cannot negotiate or grant amnesty to ‘ghosts.’
“Boko Haram attacks are likely to continue because Jonathan’s regime is not sincere about ending the crisis. Amnesty worked under President Umaru Yar’Adua because he was sincere and committed to ending the crisis in the Niger Delta.”
Fashakin also accused the Federal Government of short-changing Nigerians. He said insecurity had continued to increase despite huge amounts budgeted for security.
According to him, some individuals in government are “feeding fat” on the crisis.
He said, “We are spending more money on security, yet we are having more insecurity, because some people are profiting a lot through this insecurity. If you look at it carefully, you would then ask which of the Boko Haram should government negotiate with? That’s why we have been very silent about amnesty for Boko Haram.
“The fact is that Jonathan came into power by playing up the fault lines of religion and ethnicity. So, his government has been sustained by playing up the same fault lines. Unless Jonathan is sincere, this problem of Boko Haram will continue to fester.”
Last Thursday in Kano, the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu, called for the granting of amnesty to Boko Haram members based on certain conditions.