The South-South and South-East Chairman of Northern Forum, Alhaji Musa Saidu, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the Army authorities to, in the spirit of Sallah, grant pardon to the 12 soldiers, who were recently condemned to death by a military General Court Martial in Abuja for acts of mutiny, among others.
Alhaji Musa, who spoke to Daily Trust in Port Harcourt, Rivers State yesterday, said Sallah is a period to show love and forgiveness and called on the federal government to imbibe the spirit of love and forgiveness.
“I want to use the festival to call on President Jonathan and the Army authorities to grant pardon to the 12 soldiers condemned recently by the military court. It is my opinion that the soldiers should be granted pardon, because whatever offence they committed, they did under pressure. At a point, they complained about weapons and they attacked their GOC, because of the death of their colleagues. I am aware of the fact that no soldier is expected to attack his superior, because the military is a very disciplined institution. But I am pleading with the authorities to grant the soldiers pardon in the spirit of Sallah”, he said.
Alhaji Saidu also reiterated the call on members of the Boko Haram sect to lay down their arms and embrace peace, adding: “I want to use this season to ask Boko Haram insurgents to reflect on Islam as a religion and understand its tenets. Islam is a peaceful religion devoid of violence. Islam abhors violence; I want them to note this and stop the present hostility in the North”.