Boko Haram and Niger Delta militants aren’t the same – Presidency rejects plea for Boko Haram amnesty

by Rachel Ogbu


The Presidency has reacted to the increasing call for amnesty for Boko Haram by top political figures in the country.

On Monday, the Presidency reportedly said that those pushing for the amnesty were politicising the issue.

In a press statement from Abuja, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe, said that President Goodluck Jonathan had insisted granting amnesty to Boko Haram was out of the question.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar III, former Lagos state governor, Bola Tinubu, former Federal Capital Territory Minister, Nasir El-Rufai and an ex-Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, had urged the Federal Government to consider the Boko Haram amnesty.

“We cannot declare amnesty for Boko Haram because we cannot declare amnesty for ghosts. You cannot liken Boko Haram to what happened in the Niger Delta,” Okupe said on behalf of the Presidency.

Okupe, said the supporters of an amnesty for the violent Islamic sect should learn from how the amnesty programme in the Niger Delta was brokered.

The Punch reports:

According to Okupe, proponents of amnesty for Boko Haram should initiate contacts with its leaders and convince them to dialogue with government.

Okupe said Jonathan had nothing to gain from the prolongation of the wanton destruction of life and property by members of the sect.

He said leaders of thought in the affected states should prevail on the leadership of the sect to abandon “their destructive pursuit and embrace dialogue”, like the militants in the Niger Delta did before amnesty was granted.


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  • Aribisogan Seun says:

    I think there is little or nothing Mr President can do on the issue of boko haram, bcos they are faceless. Let the people that are clamoring for amnesty show the boko haram to the FG. I know that to grant amnesty is never a problem.

  • Chukwu jnr. says:

    Terrorism is quite diffrnt 4rm a group whc tries 2fight 4 its right. d issue is nt 4 Jonathan 2 continue telln nigerians dat hes not gng 2grant amnesty 2 BH. rather d issue here is wat xtra effort is he makn besidz usin d JTF 2 fight BH? people ar dyin seriously. We’re tired of hearin dsame tin evryday

  • Emmanuel says:

    Its a pity when i hear the likes of Bola Tinibu, Nasir El Rufai and Mall Nuhu Ribadu, calling Mr President and asking him to grant amnesty to a TERRORIST group. Sometimes i wonder if these are the people nigerian intend to vote for in the APC party they are forming. These are people who should stand by Mr president and help him fight to kick theses sect out of our land yet they are reasoning like disillusioned humans. Where on earth has any govt granted amnesty to a terrorist group? They should as well tell my president to be granting amnesty to KIDNAPPERS too, ARMED robbers and all. They should stop liking the Niger-Delta militants to BOKOHARAM cause unlike their northern fellows, they fought for something and were people u could deal with on a one-on-one basis. BOKOHARAM is faceless, they are a terrorist group, and are fighting for nothing. The president should stand his ground and i call on well meaning, sensible, reasonable and true Nigerian’s to stand behind my president and say “NO” “THERE WILL BE NO AMNESTY FOR BOKOHARAM”. The northern governors and leaders should be called to answer question on why these SECT is still thriving in their domain despite the huge amount of funds released by the federal government to them to combating these terrorist.

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