Minister of Youth Development, Mr. Boni Haruna disclosed that President Goodluck Jonathan has declared amnesty for members of terrorist group, Boko Haram as parts of his administration’s youths-friendly programmes and policies. The minister who said this on Thursday, May 29 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja during a special event tagged “A day with young leaders of Nigeria” to mark the nation’s Democracy Day added that series of integration programmes have been lined up for members of the sect who would surrender their arms and embrace peace.
Mr Haruna said, “President Goodluck Jonathan has also declared amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect. “Series of integration programmes have been lined up for the members of the sect who would surrender their arms and embrace peace. “Let me use this opportunity on behalf of the Federal Government, to call on the members of the Boko Haram sect to embrace the government’s gesture and key to amnesty programme.”
He disclosed that 30,000 youths have benefited from the programme which has seen beneficiaries transforming from militants to wealth creators, employers of labour and skilled citizens. He recalled that in the wake of youth restiveness in the Niger Delta, the government came up with a development programme which provided an opportunity for the youth to express themselves and have a meaningful life. Haruna said although the amnesty programme was a fallout of a bitter national security, its effect on the youth had been profound. Pres. Jonathan who was present at the event said the military alone was incapable of stopping terrorism or any kind of radicalism, adding that terrorism could not succeed in any community without local supports. Therefore stressing the need for people who are respected by the insurgents to join hands with government to persuade them to desist. “Terror succeeds with local support. It will be difficult for terror to thrive where people reject it.
It is a major challenge to all of us. “Military alone cannot stop terror or any radicalism. Terrorists have people they respect, they have community, traditional and opinion leaders they respect. All of us can deradicalise them. “We will through persuasive activities encourage people to shun violence.” He said his government was already working out the modalities for reintroducing moral education into school curriculum. This, he said, would assist in re-orientation the young people in order to distinguish between right and wrong things.