FOR the past four years, federal government has been fighting to end Boko Haram insurgency in the northern part of the country with little or no success. This has prompted some northern elders and legislators from that part of the country to call on the federal government to grant amnesty to the members of the Islamic sect. This call has generated a lot of controversy among Nigerians. While some people argue that Boko Haram does not deserve amnesty, others insist that amnesty is the only way out of the prevailing security challenges. Below are the views of some Nigerians on the amnesty debate.
Christopher Okoro, Politician: Boko Haram has committed many atrocities and should not be given amnesty. They have killed a lot of innocent people and deserve no mercy from the government.
Ogochukwu Divine, Accountant: To me, it is not the best option. Government should find out who these people are, those sponsoring them, what their agitations are before discussing whether they deserve amnesty or not. Above all, government should act urgently to avoid incessant killings in the country.
Alex Ejiofor, Businessman: If giving them amnesty will stop this madness, government should do that. But government should also be ready to give amnesty to any other group that might come up in future.
Okwor Gabriel, Civil Servant: If government gives Boko Haram amnesty, it means that they have failed in protecting the lives of the people. To the best of my knowledge, Boko Haram does not deserve any amnesty.
Odinaka Enuka, Student: Those that are calling for amnesty do not know what those that lost their loved ones pass through because of Boko Haram madness. Government should make sure that Boko Haram members and their sponsors are arrested and made to face the law.
Onyekachi Obasi, Hotelier: It is the only way out because it’s obvious to Nigerians that the federal government can’t fight these people. Whether government likes it or not, it needs to pay attention to those calling for the amnesty because if we continue like this, it may lead to something else.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Apr. 8, 2013, @ 01:00 GMT