The Muslim umbrella body in Nigeria, Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has expressed dissatisfaction with Boko Haram's rejection of the proposed amnesty by the federal government.
In a statement by its scribe, Dr. Khalid Ahmed Aliyu, JNI criticized the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for its resistance of the policy, asserting that Boko Haram sect has killed more Muslims that Christians.
JNI said it was perplexed that while the call by the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of JNI to grant amnesty to Boko Haram has received the strong support of some prominent Christians, the President of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejfor and others were confusing the country's leadership on the way out of Nigeria’s security challenges.
“Our concern is what is the motive behind the total rejection of amnesty by them?” the statement asked. “Do they benefit from the quagmire of the Boko Haram? When where they appointed Special Advisers to the President on the Perpeturation of Insecurity? However, if leaders’ utterances cannot ventilate the atmosphere for peace at a time when peace is most needed what else will guarantee peace? The unfortunate menace of Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria is indeed an accident beyond religion which affects every Nigerian directly or indirectly and upon which no passing of bulk can be logical.”
Arguing that the menace of Boko Haram has affected more Muslims than non-Muslims, JNI described Islam as a glass house from which no true Muslim should throw stones, and that it stands by the teachings of Islam which cautions against making provoking statements in times of anger because it only leads to regret.
It therefore appealed to the Federal Government to proceed with its plans for amnesty as “a potent way of restoring peace to Nigeria without minding any distractive tendencies of some conservative elements” who may have a selfish agenda.
“Consequently, as always JNI uses this medium to call on the Federal Government to do away with all the vituperations of the CAN President and his cohorts by swinging into action undeterred over the issue of granting amnesty, with all stakeholders involved carried along such that peace and prosperity will return to Nigeria. In the same vein, Muslims must not be oblivious of the significance of prayers, therefore Muslims are called upon to fervently pray to Allah, the Most High for the harmonious existence of Nigeria. Meanwhile, we seize this opportunity to remind all Nigerian Muslims of resisting any provoking temptation."
It is unclear if JNI, at the time of this statement, actually knew that Boko Haram has itself denounced the amnesty initiative, as JNI did not criticize the violent group about its rejection.
In a broadcast quoted by AFP on Thursday, the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau said it was the government, not Boko Haram, which needs a pardon from his group, which he said has done no wrong.