By Abdallah el-Kurebe
Sokoto – A House of Representative Member, representing Isa/Sabon Birni Federal Constituency, Hon. Shuaibu Gobir has said that President Jonathan must listen to voices of wisdom on the issue of Boko Haram by granting them amnesty.
Answering a question during a media chat with members of NUJ Correspondents Chapel in Sokoto on Sunday, Hon. Gobir said that the referral of Boko Haram members as ghosts was a misplaced definition since Jonathan had said he knew them.
Apparently in support of Sultan Sa’ad’s recent call that President Jonathan declares amnesty for the BH group, the member said that there was no better wisdom than that in Sultan’s advice.
According to him, “The Boko Haram people are not ghosts. Mr. President told us he knew who these Boko Haram people are; that they are in his cabinet, in the legislature, in the police, in the army,” he said adding, “Let everybody go and rest. Mr. President knows who and who members of Boko Haram are. Let him call them to order since he knows them. If he refuses to call them to order, it means there is hidden agenda about this Boko Haram,” further saying, “At least, every reasonable Nigerian has advised him to give amnesty to them. But when he insists he is going to fight them.”
When Henry Okah committed his atrocity on Independence Day, he said he did the bombing. Mr. President publicly said that is was Okah; that he knew who and who did the bombing. Till date he has not told us who these people are and lives and properties of innocent citizen have continued to be destroyed.
Recalling that when the Niger Delta people were agitated, late YarAdua did not only address their problems but were also given amnesty and rehabilitated and sees no season for treating BH differently.
“If he is sincere to himself, he can sit down with them, hear their grievances and give them amnesty because they are Nigerians. He cannot throw them away from Nigeria,” he stressed.
“If he allows them to continue, this will escalate and we will not know where it will end. If we gave amnesty to people who carried guns, destroying our oil wells, why can’t we give to these people?”
On how to address security challenges, Gobir said that sentiment must have to be removed in the discharge of official duties. FG should improve on the security situation, especially in the North and sit down with the Boko Haram people.
“First of all, we have to remove sentiment. What is going on in Nigeria now is terrible,” he said buttressing, “If an Hausa man commits a crime, he hides under Hausa/Fulani canopy and alleges that he is being witch-hunted because he is Hausa/Fulani. So also, if Yoruba man commits a crime, he hides under Afenifere and claims same.”
Hon. Gobir added that leaders should remove sentiments and ethnicity so that they could challenge the security situation in Nigeria.
“When those who are in the force have the courage and sincerity to face the security challenges squarely, they will do it. But look at us now, if a criminal comes here and fires shots at us, any police officer here will run away; although they have the same rifles, an ordinary police officer is not insured.”
On how the security situation has affected commerce, Gobir said, “Any investor who wishes to invest in a country that not secured, he will not come. FG is doing its best to bring in investors, but the main constraints if insecurity , especially in the North.”