AS mixed reactions continue to trail the Federal Government’s decision to set up a panel to consider amnesty for the Boko Haram sect, a prominent member of the Northern Elders Forum and former Vice-Chancellor Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Prof. Ango Abdullahi disclosed to The Guardian Friday that the government’s plan was part of the recommendations made by the Forum to President Goodluck Jonathan nine months ago.
He said that the forum demanded a standing Commission on Amnesty for the country that will be saddled with the responsibility of taking care of all eventualities.
“We made the recommendations during our meeting with the President nine months and he promised to look into it. He wrote the forum and invited us for a meeting where we deliberated on our recommendations before the government decided to raise the panel,” Abdullahi said.
On fears that such standing Commission on Amnesty might encourage militancy and all sorts of criminality in the country, Abdullahi said: “There are crimes in the country and there should be way out of it for the peace and unity of the country. The gain of the amnesty for Boko Haram would be assessed as it progresses.”
He disagreed with those criticizing the government’s move, saying that it is in order and expected.
Abdullahi dismissed insinuations in some quarters that the forum ambushed the Presidency to set up the panel.
He said: “How can we ambush the President? He wrote us and invited us for a meeting where we discussed on the way out of the insurgency. There must be a standard for all Nigerians if we want peace in this country. Hasn’t amnesty for Niger Delta militants ended militancy in the region?