IN the past few weeks the issue of amnesty to the Boko Haram sect has dominated national discourse in the country. Already, the government has set up a committee to work out the modalities for granting the insurgents amnesty. But the rejection of the proposed amnesty by the sect has generated a lot of controversy among Nigerians. While some people believe that government should go ahead with the amnesty plan, others argue that President Goodluck Jonathan should consider other ways to stop the insurgency. Below are the views of some Nigerians on the amnesty debate.
James Tse, Politician: It all depends on the government because the acclaimed leader of the group said they don’t need the amnesty. To me, if government goes ahead with its plan, it means that it is forcing the sect to accept the amnesty. Government should make use of other means to track the sect down.
Obiajunwa Anayochukwu, Civil Servant: Government should first of all identify these people and what they want before granting them amnesty. I believe there will be more problems in the north if government grants the wrong people amnesty. But I still support government to continue with its plan but caution should be the word.
Adekunle Joseph, Accountant: My opinion in the issue is that government should do everything within its power to ensure peace in the north and other parts of the country. It should go ahead for political, moral and strategic reasons. It should also avoid those who are trying to politicise the programme.
Yahaya Bargaje, Computer Programmer: The rejection of amnesty by the leader of Boko Haram is a good reason for the government to continue with the process. Their rejection means that the dialogue has started, what is left for government is to draw up the terms of reference and get the people who will get the sect to talk. Once the talks begin, it will open up opportunities.
Amarachi Nwobodo: Government should go ahead with the initiative; I believe it will work in the long run. Again, government should endeavour to put an end to further killings of innocent Nigerians for whatever reasons. For now, this is the only means that can end this man’s inhumanity to man in the north.
Tansimaria Kwaghtaher, Businessman: Granting amnesty to the sect would generate more problems for this country; government should bear in mind that kidnappers, internet fraudsters, unemployed youths and people involved in other social vices in the country also need amnesty. Since the sect doesn’t need the amnesty, government should fight them.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— May 6, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT