Boko Haram: The Cry for Amnesty by Abubakar Evuti
The Sultan of Sokoto recently pleaded with the Government to grant the Boko haram sect amnesty. This, as expected, drew different criticisms from every corner of the country. Some in support but majority against. Others came all out and lashed out at the Sultan —like the Christian Association of Nigeria,using body blows, implied that the Sultan is the sponsor or at least a suspected sponsor of the Boko Haram sect.
The elders of Borno echoed the plea of the Sultan before the President on the Presidents’ recent visit to Maiduguri. The President of course refused the request to grant amnesty to Boko Haram because they, Boko Haram, are ‘ghosts’ although the President has severally claimed ‘to know them’, to be in talks with them or on the verge of been in talks with them. The people who always say: ‘We must not play politics with Boko haram’ playing politics with Boko haram? Or how else will the Government explain all the top arrests of Boko Haram members?
The President also refused the request to pull out the JTF from Maiduguri (which according to the people, have indeed caused more terror, more deaths to the people than Boko Haram) except if the elders of Maiduguri will sign an agreement that after the JTF is pulled out, the activities of Boko Haram will cease to be in the state —a kind way of saying: “you, the people, are the boko haram”.
Now, the President has made plain his position on the issue of granting amnesty to Boko Haram.
Personally, because I am a Muslim a Nigerian and a Northerner, I am against amnesty for Boko Haram. I don’t see why people will claim to be defending a people and plunge them into untold hardships as this. Without doubt, Boko Haram has caused more hardship and more death to Muslims and the North than they have to Christians and the South. That their act is un-islamic is not even a cause for debate. Islam has made it plain concerning killing of innocent people and killing of self for whatever reason. A Muslim who kills one person unjustly, it is as if he killed the whole of humanity. A Muslim who kills himself, without doubt, is going to hell. A Muslim who even BY ACCIDENT kills another has unwittingly drawn the displeasure of Allah and will have to pay Millions of Naira to find Allah’s mercy. To intentionally kill a Muslim is arguably an un-atonable sin. You can not kill innocent people in Islam and call it an act of worship. But worst still, you cannot kill women! This ‘Jihad’ is the most absurd! Long before any European country, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) made the rules of war which includes; not harming a woman, a child, an Old person. To blow up innocent worshipers is not Jihad and it is not Islam! And let it be noted that Christians and Southerners have also been caught disguised as Boko Haram on the verge of carrying out acts of terror and they have disappeared from the News.
Boko Haram have killed too many Muslims,more than 200 hundred in a single day in Kano drawing hot tears from the eyes of the people including the Emir of Kano. Boko haram have killed several Islamic scholars across the North. I,because I a Muslim and a Northerner, cannot support that such a people should be allowed to go free. It is injustice that birthed Boko Haram in the first place, although this obviously is not the date-only-eating followers of Muhammad Yusuf.
We want justice for all the Muslims killed, for all the Christians killed and for all the Churches that have been blown up.
So we now look back to the President, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria! The man who has been giving nearly one trillion Naira with constitutional authority over the Army, the Police, the Air force, the Navy, the State Security Service, the Civil Defence, the Immigration and what have you. It is his responsibility, not the responsibility of elders of Borno or the elders of the North, to deliver justice! The President has been trying to shy away from his responsibility by asking other Muslims to condemn Boko Haram —when he cannot even guarantee their safety. And since when does condemning become a substitute for action? Anybody can condemn, it is really easy if you’re in Abuja with Israeli soldiers watching over you but not when you are in Maiduguri or any Boko Haram infested part of Nigeria.
Nigerians must understand that those who are demanding amnesty for Boko haram do not necessarily have anything to do with Boko Haram, it is only because the people of the North are tired of this relentless hardships, this ceaseless fears and this endless deaths. The Government of Nigeria, as it has shown, can not fight terrorism because it is either too un-intelligent or too ill-equipped or—perhaps conforming to the dictates of some Western powers—completely unwilling to fight terrorism. It has been a long time now. We have waited too long. The people of Arewa are tired!
The President has spoken. There will be no amnesty for Boko haram. We accept but what it you will do Mr President for is obviously this deployment of Soldiers is not working! Boko Haram is eating away the North! We cannot continue to do the same thing for five years without positive result, it is folly! There should be more use of intelligence than force. What next Mr President? Are we to remain so till Yobe and Borno are no more? —till Arewa is no more?
(Please plant a tree today)
The writer is on twitter @ngugievuti
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