Sunday, June 19, 2011

Divergent Views Trail Proposed Amnesty For Boko Haram Militants

18 June 2011

The proposal for an amnesty deal with Boko Haram by the Federal Government has elicited divergent but particularly dissenting views from Nigerians. Lawrence Amaku writes that the move, if seen in the shadows of the Niger Delta amnesty deal, might end up as a pipe dream.

LAST week, the Federal Government held out the olive branch to the outlawed muslim fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram, by proposing an amnesty deal with it.

A precursor to this came, in May, from Borno State governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, shortly after being elected governor of the state where the Islamic sect is based and where a great deal of assaults against politicians, muslim leaders, security forces, government institutions, churches and mosques have been carried out in last two years.

Shettima explained that the amnesty programme, explicitly modeled on aspects of the amnesty programme offered to militants in the Niger Delta region would involve “inviting Boko Haram to a negotiation table as soon as we are in office to find out from them what their problems are and find solutions to them.”

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