The Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans (CANAN) has expressed strong feelings about the decision of President Jonathan to extend amnesty to the Boko Haram sect.

In a statement signed by Pastor Laolu Akande, its Executive Director, the group said that by agreeing to the proposal, the federal government “completed its treachery against the wives, children and relatives of the victims of Boko Haram terrorists.

CANAN asked: “Has the same government considered setting up anything to help those victims? Does the federal government even have a count of the victims? What has the Nigerian government done to assuage the sufferings resulting from the killing of thousands of the Nigerian people by Boko Haram?”

It reiterated that most of the victims of Boko Haram terrorism are Christians, whose only offense is their choice of worship.

“Together last month, our association and CAN in Nigeria gave voice to the victims at a press conference in Abuja. We also announced a widow's mite of $50,000 to the victims. What has the Nigerian government done for these victims apart from abandoning them at their hardest moment of need?”

The group said that while it was not completely opposed to a political solution, such a track has to involve the two parties in a conflict. “So far as we and all Nigerians know, the leaders of Boko Haram have rejected the idea of negotiations and the amnesty itself. They have even killed certain leaders who have been perceived to be leading the charge for a political solution.  

“So who will the government be negotiating with? Can a man clap with one hand?”

It also asked of the government a series of questions, including:

•    Why is it that the leaders from the region widely affected by the insurgency, who are now clamoring for amnesty, are not equally concerned about the fate of the victims?
•    Why is the demand for amnesty louder than the demand for the backers and leaders of Boko Haram to openly articulate their views regarding their demands?
•    Are those to be considered for amnesty including the members of the violent sect who are already in detention?
•    What are we to make of the leaders of Boko Haram including Shekau, who have insisted on no negotiations whatsoever?

“This insurgency of the Boko Haram terrorists in some Northern states of Nigeria has since become an international issue and we here in the United States will continue to insist that the US government and the international community pay a very close attention to what is going on, and intervene as appropriate under international law,” CANAN said.

It also reminded the federal government that the International Criminal Court is already considering opening a criminal investigation into Boko Haram killings in Nigeria. “The ICC has already concluded that indeed crimes against humanity have been perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists in this matter,” it said.

Full text of the statement:
Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, CANAN on the issue of Amnesty for Boko Haram terrorists

April 5, 2013, NY--We have watched with bated breadths, the strident clamor by a group of Nigerian political elite to grant terrorists amnesty.

Intense political pressure has been mounted on the Nigerian government resulting into widespread news today that the federal government of Nigeria is now considering granting amnesty to terrorists who have clearly spurned and disdained the idea in the first place.

This is shaping up to a certain manifestation of the theatre of the absurd!

Not that Nigeria is not used to such perfidious propositions, it is the total despising of the murdered, traumatized and maimed victims of the terrorists that make this situation a pervasion.

When the federal government agreed to set up a committee to consider the demand to grant amnesty to terrorists, it completed its treachery against the wives, children and relatives of the victims of Boko Haram terrorists!

Has the same government considered setting up anything to help those victims? Does the federal government even have a count of the victims? What has the Nigerian government done to assuage the sufferings resulting from the killing of thousands of the Nigerian people by Boko Haram?

We have made it clear before now that most of the victims of Boko Haram terrorism are Christians, whose only offense is their choice of worship. Together last month, our association and CAN in Nigeria gave voice to the victims at a press conference in Abuja. We also announced a widow's mite of $50,000 to the victims. What has the Nigerian government done for this victims apart from abandoning them at their hardest moment of need?

And now the government is pandering to the same political interests who have refused to expose the known backers and supporters of Boko Haram. What a travesty!

We are not outrightly against a political solution, side by side with the enforcement of law and order; which is government's primary assignment anywhere.

But political approach has to involve both parties to a conflict. So far as we and all Nigerians know, the leaders of Boko Haram have rejected the idea of negotiations and the amnesty itself. They have even killed certain leaders who have been perceived to be leading the charge for a political solution.

So who will the government be negotiating with? Can a man clap with one hand?

We also ask:

Why is it that the leaders from the region widely affected by the insurgency, who are now clamoring for amnesty, are not equally concerned about the fate of the victims?

Why is the demand for amnesty louder than the demand for the backers and leaders of Boko Haram to openly articulate their views regarding their demands?

Are those to be considered for amnesty including the members of the violent sect who are already in detention?

Have they owned up to their criminal responsibilities?

What is the guarantee that their amnesty would lead them to a change of heart?

What are we to make of the leaders of Boko Haram including Shekau, who have insisted on no negotiations whatsoever?

Has government or the political leaders from the North made contact with Shekau? If they have the nation must be told!

This insurgency of the Boko Haram terrorists in some Northern states of Nigeria has since become an international issue and we here in the United States will continue to insist that the US government and the international community pay a very close attention to what is going on, and intervene as appropriate under international law.

We want to remind the federal government that the International Criminal Court, ICC, is already considering opening a criminal investigation into Boko Haram killings in Nigeria. The ICC has already concluded that indeed crimes against humanity have been perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists in this matter.

The world is watching!

Pastor Laolu Akande
Executive Director
Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, CANAN
NEW YORK.

Read Next

You May Also Like