“President Goodluck Jonathan has not declared amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect.” These were the words of special adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on media and publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati today at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Abati, who spoke to newsmen as he reacted to the statement credited to the nation’s Minister of Youth Development, Boni Haruna that the President had offered amnesty to the insurgents said, it is a lie.
Boni Haruna had on Thursday, announced to Nigerians that President Jonathan had offered amnesty to Boko Haram as part of the determination of his government to bring the incesant violent attacks across some parts of the North to an end.
However Dr. Abati dissociated the President from the amnesty offer, saying that the President, who spoke at the occasion after Boni Haruna, did not say anything about the amnesty offer.
The minister had made the announcement during the Democracy Day Presidential interaction with youths at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
The minister had used the opportunity offered by the occasion to, on behalf of the Federal Government, called on the members of the Boko Haram sect to embrace the government’s gesture and key-in to amnesty programme.”
Abati said that the reality on the ground is that the government had lined up series of integration programmes for the members of Boko Haram that are willing to surrender their arms and embrace peace.
He refered Nigerians to the Democracy Day nationwide broadcast by the President where he never used the term “amnesty,” adding “if you read the speech line by line, you will see that it contains the very message that the President wanted to put across.
“In that speech, if you look at it, I don’t think the President used amnesty, instead he spoke about those who are willing to renounce terrorism; those who are willing to embrace peace, opportunities have been created for them through the fact-finding committee, through the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolutions of Conflict in the North Eastern part of Nigeria. So I will refer you basically to the speech by the President.”
Meanwhile, President Jonathan has condemned the assassination of the Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Idrissa Timta who was killed by Boko Haram on Thursday.
Dr. Abati, who conveyed the message of the President said that the news of the assassination shocked the President.
“What it means is that these terrorists who are threatening peace and stability in Nigeria, are desperate and they continue to show that desperation. But as the President made it clear in his democracy day broadcast, that was his main message to Nigerians, that at the end of the day, it is the people of Nigeria that will prevail, no matter how desperate terrorists may be.”
He said that the federal government is determined to rid the country of terrorism with the support, solidarity, cooperation and partnership that it has been receiving from neighboring countries, the west African sub-region, Africa and the world.
“All these show that this is the battle that the whole world is prepared to fight. So the days of peace as the President said in his speech is assured because this battle will not end until it is won and the sustainable development is fully guaranteed.”