President Goodluck Jonathan has declared that there will be no amnesty for members of the fundamental sect, Boko Haram, as demanded by some northern leaders.
The President made the declaration while speaking in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital on Thursday during an interactive session with the people of the state as part of his one-day official visit to the North East State.
The President affirmed that the federal government “will not grant amnesty to the insurgents”, whom he described as “faceless.”
“You cannot grant amnesty to a ghost,” the President stated.
“Boko Haram is still operating as a ghost and federal government will not negotiate or grant amnesty to any faceless groups or individual,” he declared.
Dr. Jonathan in his speech, advised the members of the sect to come out with their demands and grievances that will pave way for negotiation and subsequent resolution for the overall development of the state.
The President’s declaration is coming days after Nigeria’s Islamic leader and Sultan of Sokoto, appealed to the President to declare amnesty for the sect members just as the government did for militants in the Niger Delta in 2008.
The fundamentalist sect has been staging gun and bomb attacks against the Nigerian government since 2008 when its leader was killed by Nigeria’s security operatives. The group which seeks an imposition of Sharia law all over Nigeria recently splintered into diverse groups still staging attacks in various places in the region.
While sympathising with the people of Yobe State over the wave of attacks by the sect members, the President debunked insinuations that he had no love for the people of the state and the North East geopolitical zone of the country.
Yobe State has been a flashpoint with the Boko Haram insurgency and series of ethnic clashes and this is the first time the President is officially visiting the state.
Acknowledging the contributions of the people of the state to the socio-economic development of the state despite the security challenge, Dr. Jonathan gave the assurance that the federal government will continue to assist the state in the area of educational development.
He also said that the federal government will intensify its effort in providing power and water supply across the country.
Eminent sons and daughters of the state pleaded with the President at the session to assist the state get rid of the insurgency that has claimed hundreds of lives and property as they also sought the President’s assistance in the development of education, roads among other infrastructural needs in the state.