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FlashBack: Buhari Slam Jonathan, Wants Amnesty For Boko Haram In 2013


President Muhammadu Buhari had back in 2013 backed the granting of amnesty to Boko Haram, while commending the government for setting up a committee to look into granting amnesty to the sect’s members.

Buhari, who was the national leader of the then Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), disclosed this after condoling with the matriarch of the Awolowo family, Mrs. HID Awolowo in Ikenne over the death of her son, Oluwole Awolowo.

He had said: “It is good that they have set up a committee on amnesty. I have not seen the terms of reference but, it is a right step in the right direction.

“This is not the first time amnesty would be given to a violent group, you remember it happened in the time of (Umaru) Yar’Adua when he granted amnesty to militants in the Niger Delta. Whatever that would bring us peace as a society, we should do it.”

Buhari also faulted the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration for killing and destroying houses belonging to Boko Haram while the Niger Delta militants were given special treatment by the government.

“What is responsible for the security situation in the country is caused by the activities of Niger Delta militants. Every Nigerian that is familiar with what is happening knows this. The Niger Delta militants started it all.

“What happened is that the governors of the Niger Delta region at that time wanted to win their elections. So, they recruited the youths and gave them guns and bullets and used them against their opponents to win elections by force.

“After the elections were over, they asked the boys to return the guns; the boys refused to return the guns. Because of that, the allowance that was being given to the youths by the governors during that time was stopped.

“The youths resorted to kidnapping oil workers and were collecting dollars as ransom. Now a boy of 18 to 20 years was getting about 500 dollars in a week, why will he go to school and spend 20 years to study and then come back and get employed by the government to be paid N100,000 a month, that is if he is lucky to get employment.

“So, kidnapping becomes very rampant in the South-South and the South-East. They kidnapped people and were collecting money.

“How did Boko Haram start? We know that their leader, Mohammed Yusuf started his militancy and the police couldn’t control them and the army was invited. He was arrested by soldiers and handed over to the police.

“The appropriate thing to do, according to the law, was for the police to carry out investigations and charge him to court for prosecution, but they killed him, his in-law was killed, they went and demolished their houses.

“Because of that, his supporters resorted to what they are doing today. You see in the case of the Niger Delta militants, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua sent an aeroplane to bring them, he sat down with them and discussed with them, they were cajoled, and they were given money and granted amnesty,” Buhari had said.

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