TRAVESTY NOT AMNESTY

ImageIn recent times the media has been rife with stories clamouring for amnesty for the dreaded boko haram sect, an offer that has been totally rejected with leaders of the group claiming ignorance of any wrong doing and in a rather curious twist alleging that it is the Federal Government that deserves pardon from them, this is after over 3000 Nigerians have been murdered in cold blood since 2009.

Now it would seem that my stand as an individual and a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria would stem from my religion and the fact that I come from the south south of this country. However anyone who chooses to hold that opinion would be totally wrong.

 Internationally religious extremism is frowned at mainly because every individual is entitled to freedom of religion, nobody should be subjected to persecution because of what he chooses to worship or how, or if he chooses not to at all. It goes without saying so much that Islamic terrorists have carried out the most deadly attacks against innocent individuals the world over for a plethora of reasons. In the Nigerian scenario the boko haram sect and other terrorist groups have carried out bombings in an agitation against western education and enforcement of strict sharia law in the northern part of the country which has led to the death of so many Nigerians and a handful of foreigners.

The legitimacy of these actions have come into issue in our national discourse, and there’s no doubt in my mind that everyone feels threatened by the continued activities of people who seek to wipe out education. The very same education that successive Nigerian leaders have fought so hard to make the birthright of every Nigerian; how incredulous! The Government obviously is at a loss as to what to do and the average citizen especially in northern Nigeria sleeps wide eyed.

I’m tempted to now wonder if this fear is not the overriding consideration in this push by the northern elite leading for amnesty to quench the blood thirst of this marauding crusaders of anarchy, especially after they were fearlessly attacked. Everyone seems to be clamouring for amnesty now basically because it worked with the Niger Delta militants and there are fewer cases of kidnappings and general unrest in the south of the country.

This notwithstanding, we must look at the issue of amnesty dispassionately. As an Individual I was never totally in support of amnesty for the Niger Delta militants because I knew there would be ripple effects, this country being multi-cultural and with hundreds of ethnic groups and sub-groups. These clans would most certainly feel the need for agitation and surely there would never be a shortage of legitimate reasons.

It is true that for years even before amnesty was granted to militants in southern Nigeria, the north has had clusters of extremist militias but no one can deny that since the Niger Delta militants where granted amnesty the extremists up north got whipped into a frenzy and have upped their game, becoming more deadly and sophisticated.

The question now is what can be done? A full military solution seems untenable and only threatens our nascent democracy and social development but this wound called boko haram cannot be allowed to fester. If these terrorists are to be stopped then the Nigerian government must adopt a holistic intelligence gathering approach and our secret services must be fine tuned to deal with this threat to national security more effectively.

Naturally everyone is pointing towards amnesty as the wonder drug, I must be unequivocal in saying that amnesty would fail totally if granted to religious terrorists. Little wonder they rejected the federal governments offer, the presidency has to understand that this people have a mission that goes way beyond earthly gain, their vision is in tandem with the dream of every islamic terrorist; which is world domination through religion. They would not be dissuaded by money, even if these terrorists accept the amnesty being offered, it would only serve to aggravate the insecurity this country is already experiencing.

it must be made clear that the situation in the south of Nigeria was totally different from what we have up north. First, it is on notice that the militants had a very solid identifiable base to build their struggle on. Every seam of the fabric of the Nigerian economy today is sewn by revenue gotten from oil exploration activities in the Niger Delta which till this moment is not nearly as developed as it should be, the militants fought simply for a more equitable share of the oil wealth gotten from their farmland and rivers, they fought because these lands and rivers have been polluted to barreness and I must say amnesty has done little in terms of infrastructural development to recompense for the damage of years of exploitation. It is still left to be seen what good amnesty would do for the affected communities in the long run but at least the reformation and rehabilitation of those youths who were pushed to arms would have only positive effects on the polity in general.

It is trite to note that the northern states as with other parts of Nigeria for that matter thrived on agriculture and mining of several minerals before the oil boom began, after which everything was abandoned for the monthly allocations from the oligarchy in Abuja, guaranteed by the worlds insatiable desire for Nigerian crude. This has led to a generation of restive youths especially in the north from whence the boko haram sect has reared its head to strike fear into the heart of every Nigerian in the name of religion.

A couple of facts have to be considered in considering if amnesty would work in the north. First of all the struggle in the creeks of southern Nigeria was clearly against foreign multi-national oil companies operating and exploiting resources in the region and in most cases hostages were carted off with incidences of death or injury to innocent Nigerians reduced to the barest minimum and after negotiations these hostages where released unharmed, the doors and channels of dialogue was always kept open and the governors and elder statesmen of those states supported the federal government in ensuring the safety of Nigerian citizens in their jurisdictions.

The modus operandi of the Boko Haram militants on the other hand bother on mass murder and genocidal killings of our fellow countrymen, there is little regard for human life as suicide bombing is employed most times for full measure. The governors and rulers in the worst hit parts of northern Nigeria have either kept mum or said ineffectually little as they cow in awe of these terrorists. The few who dared say anything have been ruthlessly attacked with others watching from a safe distance until recently when they unwittingly jumped into the amnesty bandwagon.

Nigeria is now on the verge of granting amnesty to islamic terrorists. As if our designation as a banana republic is not bad enough we would now give aid to a murderous horde who require funding for training in bomb making skills all over the middle east to inflict further damage on innocent Nigerians. Criminals who should be charged with treason for threatening the person of the president openly!

The same boko haram sect that is suspected to have links with al qaeda would now receive financial aid from the government they are attacking to carry out terror within and outside Nigeria. Those supporting the call for amnesty for islamic terrorists should all be hanged, drawn and quartered for this travesty.
These greedy and myopic lot forget that the borders of this country are almost non-existent, eventually amnesty would be granted to terrorists from any part of Africa with a mastery of the hausa language. How do they imagine they would manage the pay outs? A faceless group with known members from as far up and out as Mali and Somalia. A terrorist organisation that employs the services of terrorists from other countries to kill their fellow countrymen.

As the Federal Government continues to entertain talks of amnesty for terrorists they should be reminded that every ethnic group in Nigeria has the capacity to hold the country hostage in return for the amnesty ransom because it has been made manifest that it pays to be violent, corrupt and inept in Nigeria.

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9 thoughts on “TRAVESTY NOT AMNESTY

  1. The United States never negotiates with terrorists. That is their policy. Nigeria needs to take a cue from them.
    Amnesty just proves that crime literally pays. This is not a good lesson for our youths who are supposedly the leaders of tomorrow that never comes.
    I understand that they just want the killings to end, but granting amnesty is not the way to go. They should be punished for what they have done, not pardoned.
    A line will have to be drawn.

      • I don’t necessarily think it has worked perfectly for the USA. This whole “Never negotiate with terrorists” hard line that the USA has taken has really been counterproductive to figuring out solutions to some of those major problems, which I should point out, the USA had a hand in creating in some of those cases.

        The truth is there can’t be any meaningful dialogue until both sides drop their arms and sit at the table like adults. Amnesty as a policy has given mixed results. Like amnesty, the the USA’s cold shoulder policy has also had mixed results. I recommend that before Nigeria offers any kind of amnesty, the country needs to figure out what is on the table and what is not.

        For instance, are we gonna submit to the request for an Islamic Republic? Frankly I highly doubt that. Now I haven’t read the Nigerian Constitution from cover to cover, but I imagine that if it isn’t explicitly stated, it’s at least implied that there is some form of religious liberty.

        What about the fact that they complain that they can get any jobs? Could an Amnesty deal involve the kind of job training in a way that keeps them gainfully employed in the 21st Century? I think that’s very doable. Better yet, we can go a step further and actually build infrastructure so that the business sector in various parts of Nigeria can succeed. If we’ve got more people learning and training for jobs that will actually earn them money instead of begging for scraps in the streets, these problems might not be as pronounced as they’ve become.

        There has been a lot of tragedy to go around since these problems started. In my opinion, the greatest of all is that the kids carrying out these attacks, whether it’s MEND, BH, or otherwise, are the products of a society that has categorically failed to produce policies that will favor reasonable, credible, and sustainable growth at every level. The education system is poor so they don’t learn anything, and even if they do learn something in school, it hardly ever leads to a job because life is just so fucking difficult to get one since businesses of all sorts find it hard to increase their margin and without margin, they can’t grow, which also means they can’t hire more people.

        The fact that groups like BH and MEND ever existed is a monumental testament to our failures as a society (by “our” I mean both govt. and civil society). At some point, we as Nigerians (and just to be clear, by “we,” I mean ALL OF US) have to come together and decide what values we truly hold dear as a society and then figure out how best to get there. If we cannot stand by and work towards the values we profess, then quite frankly, we don’t have any values to speak of.

  2. I agree with ur take on this amnesty issue. That said, i wish to add that once this amnesty is granted, there’ll be a general up raising in the country in the pursuit of amnesty.
    Instead of giving amnesty to jobless, uneducated and ignorant “BOKO HARAM”, members, i believe the government owe Nigerians an increase in the present minimum wage, increase in the pay granted to NYSC corps members and try to provide steady light supply for the nation cause when there is constant electricity, there’ll be an increase in the number of industries in the country and enterpreneurship would be strongly increased than depending one the government for jobs.

    • Thanks bro, but this our amala and ewedu leaders seem to underestimate the power of the people and what they would do when pushed to the wall. The only wage our legislators seem keen on increasing is their own.

      • I think in this day and age, it should be a lot easier to hold our leaders to task. They are definitely no where near being capable of having the infrastructure to block us from exposing their fraud, and malevolent activities online and through mobile technology. I’ve seen the way Nigerians gather together on the mobile web. We can expose these guys and force them to be more transparent.

  3. This is what you get when you have headless chickens as leaders. When it comes to intelligence gathering and covert execution, the Nigerian SSS is at a record level of ‘Clueless’. Sometimes I get the feeling that we are stunted in growth and can never improve, a feeling that isn’t an awkwad one but instead it happens to be more realistic. Jonathan obviously doesn’t have an idea on how to deal with Boko Haram or ‘bokoko karam’ as he pronouced on CNN ‘Amanpour’. A man who has the poorest PR skills for a president, lacking words and more importantly actions. As a well read historian, the current events in this Banana republic of ours, is only just the beginning and a buildup to an impending revolution that’s will again produce another set of headless chickens. Nigeria is finished, Nigeria is finished!

  4. “Those supporting the call for amnesty for islamic terrorists should all be hanged, drawn and quartered for this travesty”. You have written well, you have exercised your right to expression as a citizen of this country. Good piece but you flogged your write-up with the above quoted writings of yours which I help put up. Let me put you to correction,we are in a diversified environment with diverse views,opinions and different methods to which we can resolve issues, tos of us calling for amnesty see Boko Haram as a child born by some greedy politicians in this country, they are not from outside,don’t be deceived, they are citizens of this country. We believe negotiating with them will bring a faster resolution of the crisis, of all their members the federal Government have claimed to have arrested, how many are non Nigerians? none. So we believe dialohue can end this crisis, whether amnesty, pardon or whatsoever means. To now say those clamouring for amnesty should be flogged, hanged, drawn and quatered, I am deeply sad and worried becuase you have sentenced rightful Nigerians like yourself to murder for doing what they are constitutionally guided to say. It has cast a lot of doubts on this write up and throws into it element of sentiments. My dear brother, accept my reply as a kind gesture.

    • You accuse me of being sentimental in my views but your rationale for supporting amnesty for terrorists is beclouded more by emotions than by reason.Thats why you don’t see that boko haram have been killing innocent Nigerians and they wouldn’t hesitate to blow you up if you enter their kill zone. What do they deserve amnesty for? killing our fellow compatriots? or for making this country lose billions because investors are not coming in? or because they don’t want education? Its laughable if you honestly believe that boko haram is a child born of some greedy politicians because these terrorists are simply not happy that a Christian is in power and their grievance is purely religious and even if its political it is being sponsored by northern politicians. Infact who can the north blame for their poverty? they’ve had access to more power than any other region in this country.

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