President Goodluck Jonathan recently announced his refusal to grant amnesty to any member of the Boko Haram sect and according to the government, the primary reason for this is because Boko Haram is a faceless group. Many have opined that granting amnesty to the group could help to save innocent lives, while others think they should be brought to book. In the light of this, the Nigerian Tribune conducted an opinion poll on whether the president should have supported amnesty for Boko Haram. Doyin Adeoye brings the excerpts:
Ahmed Medlat Olatidoye: Boko Haram is not just a militant group, they are terrorists and granting amnesty to a group that kills innocent people without concrete reasons is tantamount to encouraging terrorism. Anybody could wake up tomorrow to terrorise and kill innocent souls, knowing that they would get amnesty for it. I strongly disagree with amnesty for Boko Haram.
Tolu Shittu: Boko Haram should not be granted amnesty. I think they should be punished, it is what they deserve and personally, I think that anyone of them caught should be killed.
Jokotoye Ore: If they are willing to show their faces, then the government should grant them amnesty.
Emoruwa Olabode-Promise: Granting amnesty to Boko Haram would only be an effort in futility. Unlike the Niger Delta militants whose agitation was for the well being of their people and better treatment from the government and oil companies, Boko Haram is agitating for nothing. They don’t deserve to be pampered. I believe the Federal Government should give security agents a shoot at sight order and allow foreign countries who are ready to assist us to do so and we would see what would happen in the first three months.
Hammed Omuiyadun D: I believe we should seek for peace at all cost because only the land of peace would germinate the seed of progress. If it would restore peace to Nigeria, then they should be granted amnesty.
Monica Lawal: Why would Boko Haram be granted amnesty? It only implies that we take a lot of things for granted in Nigeria.
Egbeleke Ademola: I believe Boko Haram members should be brought to book. Niger Delta militants were given amnesty and if the same thing goes for Boko Haram, that means that a group could start raping people soon and when they get tired of it, would finally ask for amnesty.
Olumide Oluwaseun: For everything that Boko Haramn has done to this country, amnesty should be out of their reach.
Oladokun Oluwatobi Blessing: I think they ought to be punished.
Jolly Mousard O: Yes, it is better that they are given amnesty, just to save innocent people’s lives.
Hamid Kunle Kareem: Amnesty to terrorists? What kind of message would that be passing across? The problem is before we know it, there would be special funds for Boko Haram members, just like there is for the Niger Delta militants, while the families hit by the Boko Haram menace would continue to suffer the emotional distress of their assaults. And moreover, the president can only grant amnesty to those who come forward to disclose valuable information that would enable the government to tackle terrorism better in Nigeria and Africa. So, if not, instead of wasting valuable time and resources on amnesty, why not empower youths in the North.
Adebanjo Abidemi: I support amnesty for Boko Haram, it would help put an end to their attacks.
Olumide Adebayo: No good country negotiates with terrorists, it is not right. They should be dealt with.
Chuks Amajo Amachox: I don’t think Boko Haram is a group that should be granted amnesty. They are terrorists and they have links even outside Nigeria. So, if the president grants them amnesty, then he is opening the door to other terrorists.
Oluwatosin Oladotun: If the government could have granted amnesty to the Niger Delta militants, then I think such should also be done to the Boko Haram sect. this is because they are both menace to the development of the country. But after the amnesty, anyone caught should be brought to book.
Obafunsho Ayodeji: That the president is even considering amnesty is astonishing. You cannot give amnesty to faceless people. You can hear today that the government had discussions with Boko Haram and the next day, another group comes out to discredit the first group, that they are not their members. Secondly, Boko Haram is a terrorist group and should be treated as such. If proper headcount were to be taken since they started unleashing their mayhem on the good citizens of this country, they would have killed over a thousand people. So I don’t see why a group that have shed so much blood for a cause that is not justifiable should be pardoned for no reason whatsoever. They should be fished out and dealt with.
Salami Olanrewaju Raphael: I feel the amnesty granted to Niger-Delta militants was an obvious platform which actually materialised well. The killings and destruction in many parts of Nigeria was on what basis? Only the Boko Harams knows. So on what basis is amnesty going to be granted to these faceless group. More so, this group is in factions, imagine a faceless group in factions, who would you approach for dialogue. I do not support giving them amnesty for now.
Agona Obembe: Giving amnesty to Boko Haram would only empower them to turn all of us to illiterates. Christians and churches were their targets, so it means that the government want to waste money on the antichrist and criminals. Niger Delta militants fought for the oil gotten from their soil, but Boko Haram are fighting for 72 virgins and we are here talking of amnesty.
Akinsanmi Gbenga: I don’t support amnesty for members of the Boko Haram because I don’t think it would help the issue at hand. The group is not in support of good governance, so giving amnesty to its members shouldn’t be the next action. In fact, granting amnesty is an act of cowardice. In many of the developed countries, such as America, they would capture the terrorists and overpower them. Granting amnesty does not sound right.
Olawale Mathew: To start with, amnesty is out of the question, because you can only pardon who you know. The only way the government can pardon them is if they know what or who they are dealing with.
Adelusi Adedeji: I don’t support giving amnesty to Boko Haram because they have no basis for their terrorism.
Adeigbe Benard: I support amnesty for Boko Haram members because it is generally believed that amnesty is the only way of settling such issues in Nigeria. And granting amnesty to them means that anybody caught after that is a criminal and would be severely punished.