President Goodluck Jonathan declared, yesterday, that his government will not grant amnesty to members of the Islamic militant sect, Boko Haram, as demanded by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III and some Northern groups.
In Damaturu at a town hall meeting during his one-day visit to Yobe State, said he could not grant amnesty to ghosts but that he was open to negotiation if members of the sect would show themselves physically with their demands.
“You cannot declare amnesty for ghosts. Boko Haram still operates like ghosts. So, you can’t talk about amnesty for Boko Haram now until you see the people you are discussing with.”
Comparing the amnesty granted to militants in the Niger Delta, Jonathan said this was possible for late President Umaru Yar’Adua to do because the militants came out of the creeks and met late President Yar’Adua in Aso Rock, Abuja when he invited them, but that in the case of Boko Haram, no leader of the group had surfaced for talks.
The President said: “When you call the Niger Delta militants, they will come; but nobody has agreed that he is a Boko Haram member, no one has come forward.
If amnesty can solve the situation, then no problem. But nobody has come forward to make himself visible.”