By Ben Agande, Abuja & Caleb Ayansina
ABUJA — THE National leadership of the Peoples Party, PDP yesterday described the constitution of an Amnesty Committee on the Boko Haram insurgency by President Goodluck Jonathan as the best decision at the moment just as the governors of Kastina and Jigawa states, Ibrahim Shema and Sule Lamido yesterday said the decision was in submission to the yearnings of northern leaders over the plight of the people in the region that should be commended.
In a statement signed by PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the party while hailing the President for the action, stressed that it was yet another demonstration of his sincerity and forthrightness in handling the affairs of Nigeria, adding that it showed the President as a listening leader and one who has the unity of the country as paramount to him.
‘’It is on record that the north is the most receptive region in the country. Indeed there is no part of the country that is more accommodating than the north which has always been home for all people, irrespective of religious creed and tribal affiliations.
‘’The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) commends President Goodluck Jonathan for constituting an Amnesty Committee on the Boko Haram insurgency.
This is yet another demonstration of the President’s sincerity and forthrightness in handling national issues.”
Speaking with state House correspondents after meeting with President Jonathan, governors Lamido and Shema said the decision was a step in ensuring that peace returns to the northern part of the country.
According to the governor, of Katsina state, “If a committee on amnesty is set up, it is done because Nigerians and leaders from the northern part of the country are yearning for a quick resolution to the matter. And the president is responding positively to this request so that our nation can go on in peace, progress and development”.
He said it is not true that northern governors did not do enough to check the activities of the sect noting that the governors had set up a committee on peace and reconciliation before now.
”If you remember, the northern governors’ forum did set up a special committee for peace, healing and reconciliation and that committee has been working very hard and is submitting its second report to the northern governors’ forum and certainly all hands are on deck including traditional institutions, religious and political leaders, even from the services – military, retired, the police, SSS are all part of that committee”, he added.
Shema noted that there “has been very serious efforts by the northern governors forum to tackle this insecurity in northern Nigeria. I believe if a security committee is set up is in good faith, is for the good of Nigeria and for the resolution to the crisis that has bedeviled most of northern Nigeria on the issue of insecurity.
”My advice is that there is no nation that can progress without peace and stability. We need peace and all hands be on deck, those who are aggrieved for one reason or the other should come forward and be able to resolve this crisis, such that our nation and our people can progress and develop rapidly” he said.
On his part, the governor of Jigawa state said the president’s decision was in response to the wish of the people.
”What ever it is, he is there for the people and the people said this is what we want and he has given it to them so I commend him for that. Whatever it is wisdom, has prevailed. It is all about what do we do to secure our country especially when Nigeria becomes a country that is very secure and stable so that we confront the problems of human development.
”This country needs our energy, it needs our political skills and a there are a number of things which are begging for attention. Whatever it is to be able to get Nigeria united, to make it secure, we should do it. So ignore what might have been the other misconceptions. We are now doing the right thing” he said.
Meanwhile, Anglican Youth Fellowship, Nigeria, yesterday, said that the Federal government’s decision to grant amnesty to the Boko Haram sect was nothing but to legalize terrorism in the country.
The President of AYF, Wuse Archdeaconry Council, Brr. Isaac Harrison stated this while speaking to Saturday Vanguard during a workshop organised for the youths with the theme; “Empowered To Impact The World”, in Abuja.
He said, “We cannot grant amnesty to people we do not know, we cannot also grant amnesty to people who had already made up their minds that whether there is dialogue or not they will go on with whatever they are doing, if Boko Haram actually need peace they will not be killing those that are moving towards that peace.
“So, the Anglican Youths Fellowship members are not in support of the amnesty to Boko Haram.
“If you grant amnesty to a terrorist, you should remember that some months ago, US listed Nigeria as a terrorist country, it was by the grace of God that we were able to release ourselves from that situation, so, if we grant amnesty to Boko Haram, it will means that Nigeria is a terrorist country, so we are legalizing terrorism.”