Posted by News Express | 7 March 2013 | 4,086 times
Two days after he called for “total amnesty” for all Boko Haram members as a means of encouraging them to lay down their arms and restore peace in the country, Sultan of Sokoto, Dr. Sa’ad Abubakar II, this afternoon got an unexpected reply from President Goodluck Jonathan.
Speaking at a reception held for him as he arrived Damaturu for a day’s working visit to Yobe State, Jonathan said: “We knew the leaders of the Niger Delta militants. You can sit with them and talk, but for Boko Haram they are faceless. Do we give amnesty to ghosts. There will be no amnesty for faceless people.”
The Sultan, who is also the President General of Ja’amatu Nasril Islam (JNI), the apex northern Muslims umbrella body, had two days ago called for amnesty for the violent Islamic sect while speaking at the opening of the Annual Central Council meeting of the JNI in Kaduna. By so doing, he seemed to draw a parallel with what happened during the Niger delta insurgency which the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua/Jonathan administration solved with an amnesty programme.
As reported earlier by News Express, Jonathan is for the first time visiting Yobe and Borno states after years of avoiding the hotbeds of the Boko Haram insurgency.
He flew to the Maiduguri International Airport in the Borno State capital in a presidential jet, from where an air force helicopter took him to Damaturu, capital of neighbouring Yobe State. Jonathan’s itinerary showed that he would inaugurate the state university, the dual carriageway ring road, 300 housing units and an ultra-modern hospital before returning to Maiduguri this evening to pass the night.
Tomorrow morning, the President will pay a courtesy call on the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai El-Kanemi, before inaugurating some projects executed by the state government. The visit will end with a town hall meeting with members of the Borno Elders Forum, religious and community leaders as well as other stakeholders.
•Photo: Sultan of Sokoto, whose call for amnesty for Boko Haram has been faulted by President Jonathan.
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