President Goodluck Jonathan has announced the offer of amnesty to members of the outlawed Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
The offer, which may be patterned after the type offered the Niger Delta Militants who renounced violence, surrendered their arms and embraced dialogue; after which they were put through a de-militarisation process and non-violence training is aimed at a non-violent ending to insurgency in the country.
In his democracy day broadcast, President Jonathan promised to “pursue all options” that could lead to the containment of the insurgency attacks on Nigeria, adding that his government is maintaining an open door policy on the matter.
The amnesty programme, which was announced by the Minister of Youth Development, Mr. Boni Haruna, in furtherance of the president’s speech yesterday, is said to have been one of the “reserved options” the federal government has considered in the various efforts to tackle the menace of the terror gang.
Haruna, a former governor of Adamawa State, one of the states affected by the reign of terror from the Boko Haram group, gave an overview of the youth’s position in the Jonathan administration’s transformation agenda at a special event titled “A day with young leaders of Nigeria.”
The event, which held at the International Conference Centre, in Abuja, was in commemoration of Democracy Day.
According to the minister, various integration programmes had been mapped out for the dreaded sect members who surrender their arms and embrace peace.
The Youth Development Minister however did not discuss the modality of the amnesty programme.
Haruna therefore urged Boko Haram members to embrace government’s gesture.
“President Goodluck Jonathan has also declared amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect,” the minister said.
“Series of integration programmes have been lined up for the members of the sect who would surrender their arms and embrace peace.
“Let me use this opportunity on behalf of the federal government, to call on the members of the Boko Haram sect to embrace the government’s gesture and key in to the amnesty programme,” the minister said.