Granting Amnesty To Boko Haram Terrorists Cannot Bring Peace, Says Senator Ndume
Senator Ali Ndume, lawmaker representing Borno-South at the National Assembly and Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, has again kicked against the amnesty granted to Boko Haram members.
Senator Ndume made the declaration while speaking with newsmen at the weekend in Abuja.
He insisted that extending state pardon to erstwhile members of the terror group when the war against their activities was still ongoing would not bring the required lasting peace.
He said, “Majority of Nigerians are against the way that the Operation Safe Corridor is being conducted. It is wrong to be granting amnesty to repentant terrorists when the war is still far from being over. The war must be over before we start doing that. The military could open up the corridor, allow everybody to enter and start profiling them and keep them somewhere as prisoners of war and train them. After the war, they could be reconciled with the victims of their unfortunate actions.
“That is what is being done all over the world. The current arrangement where the repentant insurgents are granted amnesty without apologising to the victims and the state, cannot bring about the required peace.
“Just last week, over 1,000 Kawuri people, along the Maiduguri-Bama Road, about 40 kilometres away from Maiduguri, returned to their town. Kawuri was where the insurgents massacred 85 people in one day sometime in February 2014.
“I was at Ngwoche with the governor and preparations were at the final stage to return the displaced persons on October 15. The government is also making efforts to return the people of four other communities at the various IDP camps by the end of the year.
“We call on the federal and state government to provide the people with farm implements, fertilizers and other agricultural extension services for them to engage in dry season farming because they have missed the raining season now.
“In Gwoza, one Colonel Lamidi, a Yoruba man who has been there now for three years as the battalion commander, bought two golf cars and converted them to gun trucks due to lack of equipment to fight the insurgents. The same Colonel Lamidi has been going after the insurgents with the golf cars he reconstructed to gun trucks.
“Apart from this, the soldiers are also engaged in civil activities. Some soldiers with a diploma and degree certificates are now teaching school children whose parents have returned to some of the affected communities. They even hired 50 volunteers, who they are paying about N30, 000 per month from their salaries and allowances, to teach in some schools also.”