NIGERIA: Yorubas Opposes Amnesty for Boko Haram

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THE Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, on Tuesday expressed reservations against the move by Federal Government to grant amnesty to members of Boko Haram, saying doing so was offensive to common sense in all ramifications.

The group also counseled the political class against making inflammatory statements that were capable of overheating the polity ahead of 2015 elections.

Afenifere leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, took these positions on Tuesday while addressing newsmen in his State of the Nation address at Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

Chief Fasoranti, who was flanked by other leaders, including Chief Olu Falae, Prof Akinyemi Onigbinde, Bashorun Seinde Arogbofa, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Abagun Kole Omololu, Chief Supo Shonibare, among others, also stated that giving amnesty to the insurgents would be preposterous and retrogressive.

Fasoranti, who observed that never in the history of Nigeria, except during the civil war era had Nigerians been more insecure than now, explained that Afenifere’s stand was based on the fallout of the amnesty already granted in the Niger Delta region which had recorded monumental abuse, especially among the elite managers of the scheme.

“For instance, we agree that granting amnesty in the Niger Delta region per se is in order. But we find it hard to defend the monumental abuse going on, especially among the elite managers of the scheme and are disturbed as to whether the scheme will bring a lasting peace giving episodic restlessness still being demonstrated.

“Yet, we have created a set of emergency billionaires from amnesty while the conditions in the creeks remain virtually what they were.

“It is with this at the back of our mind that we have been so skeptical over the so-called amnesty for Boko Haram which is a much more dangerous group than the Niger Delta insurgents who were known and whose demands were clear,” he said.

The Afenifere leader maintained that it would amount to a tragedy for the country to embark on another money-sharing spree in the name of granting amnesty to another group “with all the blood that has been shed.”

Fasoranti, who noted that the Boko Haram terrorists had been unfortunately complemented by the activities of kidnappers, assassins, armed robbers and others, advocated that any decision on Boko Haram should be holistic, saying the country should not be talking of the insurgents but also their victims as well as the causes of the menace with a view to ensuring that the situation did not repeat itself.

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