An Islamic group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has thrown its support behind amnesty for the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram, saying such an initiative was necessary to shield Nigeria from a second civil war and possibly, a military coup.
In a statement issued in Lagos, the director of the group, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, said that amnesty was a viable solution to the sect’s insurgency and terrorism.
“The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) hereby welcomes this decision. We are of the opinion that this is a step in the right direction,” it said. “We believe that the Nigerian president is now thinking like the president of the whole country. Only by granting amnesty to the Boko Haram group can the president reposition the country for peaceful coexistence. “
MURIC justified its support for amnesty because, according to the statement, it stands for peace, and gives life, hope and recovery.
“On the contrary, continued hostility and pursuit of insurgents are characterized by death and general insecurity,” the statement said. “Terrorists have one mindset, namely, to put asunder what government has put together, to destroy what government has built. Terrorists seek to cause as much havoc as possible in order to attract attention to their cause.”
It noted that President Jonathan needs all hands on deck to build a united Nigeria and a virile economy, and that progress of any kind cannot be attained in a state of insecurity.
“MURIC however urges the president to rely more on his civilian advisers than on the military. Just as lawyers will always encourage their clients to go to court instead of amicable settlement of disputes, soldiers, particularly top military officers who are not usually directly in the firing line, will always prefer prolonging armed struggle. Propelled by the desire to extend the fracas and for other obvious reasons, the military may not have been giving us correct figures of casualties from clashes between the military and Boko Haram.”
The group also debunked the notion of Boko Haram being faceless, arguing that it cannot be faceless if some of their commanders have been arrested or killed as JTF always claims.
“In the same vein, we dismiss the hypothesis of Boko Haram as ghosts,” MUNIC said, saying that the faces of the leader of Boko Haram and that of his followers are usually shown in video clips and on the pages of newspapers. “Ghosts do not appear in pictures or video.”
It called for justice for the victims of the attacks, urging the federal government to compensate the widows and orphans of victims of Boko Haram attacks properly, and rebuild structures that have been bombed.
“Finally, we remind the anti-amnesty camp of the serious implications of a total rejection of amnesty,” the group said. “This includes the possibility of escalation of violent attacks which may culminate in a second civil war with its dire consequences.”