Boko Haram: FG Insists On Negotiation Before Amnesty

president-JPresident Goodluck Jonathan will not grant amnesty to Boko Haram members without prior conversation or negotiation with the Federal Government, the Information Minister Labaran Maku has said.

Maku, who was speaking as guest on a Channels TV programme on Tuesday said amnesty can only be considered through dialogue and negotiation, but not as the first option when no one has come forth for discussion.

“Nowhere  in the world has amnesty been offered unconditionally to a group that did not even come out to negotiate with the government.  How does the president and commander-in-chief announce amnesty without prior conversation, without prior negotiation, without agreeing on anything? What it would mean is that the president has given up and that’s a complete abdication,” he said.

Maku also decried a situation where the call for amnesty is politicised by Nigerians, especially the political class.

“Nigerians should not over-politicize this issue. People continue to compare it with the Niger Delta. We must not forget that amnesty in the Niger Delta came after series of discussions and negotiations led by leaders of the Niger Delta region,” he said.

“The federal government is prepared to talk to anybody who is willing to dialogue on behalf of the group and if amnesty becomes one of the conditions because the group accepts the conversation, maybe it could become an option,” Maku said.