A series of groups and prominent individuals opposed to the proposed initiative of President Goodluck Jonathan to grant amnesty to the Boko Haram Islamic sect are mounting pressure him to be wary of the consequences.
SaharaReporters has learned that some Church leaders, notably in the North East region where the violent group has done some of its most heinous work, have commenced consultations with the aim of coming up with a common position on the amnesty plan.
A senior Church leader who spoke on condition of anonymity said that they have met with some of Mr. Jonathan's aides and pointed out to them that the presidency is making a grievous mistake and setting a dangerous precedent, describing the matter as very challenging and complex. Jonathan, he said, is playing politics and considering political points instead of allowing security means to contain the insurgency.
"These people have told the whole world who they are, what they want and they are working towards achieving that,” he noted. “They said they are working for Allah and don't need any dialogue.
"What is our own that they have killed Christians and attacked Churches? Who is talking about loss? You cannot compensate and glorify wicked terrorists who have cost a nation much, in terms of killing citizens, burning Churches and homes at their own volition.”
He stressed that what book Haram is doing is wrong, and that people have been turned a lot of Nigerians into orphans, widows and widowers because of their violence, and regretted that the President is being pressurized into amnesty for them.
Another serious implication of the plan, he pointed out, concerns the nation’s defence, as the amnesty would directly undermine Nigeria's military might.
“It will also bring about emergence of other terrorist groups in the future,” he said. “Jonathan should be careful in his action."
It was gathered that the Christian Association of Nigeria and other prominent Christian groups will meet next week in Abuja and thereafter address a press conference to state their position.