Amnesty for Boko Haram as Jonathan Vows to Get Chibok Girls
A good 45 days after over 250 girls from Government Secondary School, Chibok, in Borno State were abducted by terrorists, President Goodluck Jonathan still insists on unconditional release of the girls. The president in his Democracy Day speech vowed “total war” against Boko Haram, ordering a full-scale operation to rid Nigeria of terrorists and end the reign of impunity.
But the president was quick to add that “my government, while pursuing security measures, will explore all options, including readiness to accept unconditional renunciation of violence by insurgents,” he said. “Government will also ensure their de-radicalization, rehabilitation and re-integration into the broader society’, an obvious allusion to amnesty for members of the killer sect who are willing to turn a new leaf.
He said Nigeria’s unity and stability as well as the protection of lives and property are non-negotiable. “I am determined to protect our democracy, our national unity and our political stability, by waging a total war against terrorism,” the president said. “The unity and stability of our country, and the protection of lives and property are non-negotiable. I have instructed our security forces to launch a full-scale operation to put an end to the impunity of terrorists on our soil.”
Global outrage has greeted the heinous act, described by many as an assault on humanity and human liberty yet the abductors have remained defiant, insisting on selling or marrying out the girls if government fails to release some of its members cooling off in security custody.
The group has killed 12,000 people since 2009, and has continued in its reign of terror despite emergency rule in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.
The sect had become more vicious after the kidnapping of the girls drew international attention, killing hundreds in multiple car bombs in Abuja,Kano and Jos, Plateau State.
“With the support of Nigerians, our neighbours and the international community, we will reinforce our defence, free our girls and rid Nigeria of terrorists,” the president said.
The president said his administration has run out of patience and was ready to unleash “total war” against terrorism and the perpetrators.
He said the activities of terror groups in the country have caused the citizenry and the nation debilitating pains and horror, particularly the abduction of schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno.
“It is now 45 days since the horrifying abduction of the college girls of Chibok. I share the deep pain and anxiety of their parents and guardians. I assure them once again that government will continue to do everything possible to bring our daughters home,” the he said.
Mr. Jonathan, however, said that government would be open to dialogue and reconciliation with any one or group willing to genuinely renounce terror.
The president underscored the need for all Nigerians to remain united to win the war against terrorism, adding that Nigerians from all sections of the country, including Christians, Muslims, farmers, fishermen, herdsmen, teachers, lawyers, clergy or clerics, the rich and the poor must work together to fight a common enemy.
“The war against terror may be difficult, but the days of peace will come again. Terror is evil; nowhere in history has evil endured forever.
“The menace of Boko Haram will surely come to an end. I believe that because of your prayers, your courage, hard work, faith and sacrifice, we will ultimately prevail over the terrorists and all other evil forces.”
He commended the Armed Forces for the supreme price they have paid so far in confronting insecurity, urging Nigerians to always appreciate them, rather than castigate them.
He urged Nigerians to continue to show confidence in the military’s ability win the war against terror, pointing out that there was no doubt that, with the support of Nigerians, the country’s neighbours and the international community, the country would reinforce her defence, free the girls and rid Nigeria of terrorists