by Rachel Ogbu
The wife of former President Umaru Yar’Adua, Turai Yar’Adua, has implored President Goodluck Jonathan to forgive the Islamic group, Boko Haram just like her late husband forgave the militants in the Niger Delta.
Speaking in Lagos during the Award Gala Night organised by the Niger Delta Young Professionals on Friday, Turai advised President Jonathan to ignore anyone who says amnesty for Boko Haram is wrong.
“When Yar’Adua saw that the people in the Niger Delta, particularly the children were dying callously, he (Yar’Adua) took it upon himself to grant amnesty to the militants to ensure lasting peace.
“There is poverty in the North. What Yar’Adua did in the Niger Delta, let Jonathan do the same thing to the North.
“Mr. President should not allow his advisers to deceive him. Let him sit down and think about the insecurity in the North,” she said.
But President Jonathan has held northern leaders responsible for the unrelenting Boko Haram violence.
According to reports, the President, who was represented at the event by the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Kabiru Turaki, said northern leaders had not done enough to expose those behind the group’s activities.
“When the issue of Niger Delta was raging, and I will say this with all sense of responsibility, leaders of the region, particularly the governors, were the drivers of the process.
“They reached out to the people and to the militants, they spoke and took their discussion, to an appreciable level before the Federal Government stepped in and then harnessed everything.
“What efforts are the northern leaders making? We need to learn because every incident of Boko Haram in Nigeria is situated within the geopolitical confines of a region. What are the leaders doing?
“Security agencies are not magicians – they are not spirits. These people who perpetrate these crimes do not come from the moon; they live within them. Why are they not helping the security agencies with the needed information? The problem of insecurity is not only the problem of government – it is the problem of all of us,” President Jonathan said.
The Punch reports:
He said the Federal Government was making efforts towards solving the problems.
“What we solicit from Nigerians are understanding and patience,” he stated.
He said when the late Yar’Adua and himself decided to take the initiative to address the restiveness of Niger Delta militants, they knew the people they were speaking to and knew where they could go and see them, either in their creeks, headquarters or homes.
“We reached out to them and spoke to them. We understood each other and on the basis of that, an understanding was reached and it was this understanding that was faithfully executed that led us to the amnesty in the region,” he said.
He said in the case of Boko Haram, their perpetrators were unknown, except for a few of them who spoke on the Internet or to the press.
At the awards five persons were recognised including late Yar’Adua (posthumous); Akwa Ibom Governor Godswill Akpabio; his Lagos State counterpart, Babatunde Fashola; Chairman, Arik Air, Mr. Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide and 10-year-old author, Daniella Dan-Jumbo.