Monday, May 6, 2013
Stop using Boko Haram to blackmail Jonathan – Activist
Abuja - Mr James Erebuoye, a Europe-based Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Activist, on Sunday advised Northern Elders to stop using Boko Haram to blackmail President Good luck Jonathan. Erebuoye, who gave the advice in an interview in Abuja, however, stressed the need to bring the insurgency in the north to an end.
He blamed the insurgency on the inability of the Elder Statesmen who had led the country in the past to economically empower the youth.
The activist said the situation had made many of the youth to become instruments for perpetrating violence.
Erebuoye decried the incessant loss of lives and property in the region, noting that this had depleted human resources on a daily basis.
According to him, the only solution to the insurgency is to engage the Elders in an intensive dialogue and compel them “to call their boys to order.”
He said the idea of giving amnesty to Book Haram was not the best solution, and advised government not to make amnesty as a business for some politicians.
Erebuoye cautioned the government against indiscriminate issuing of amnesty to “killers”, pointing out that other parts of the country could eventually use the amnesty as basis for negotiating insurgencies.
He noted that amnesty could be misunderstood as basis for bargaining for both economic and political recognition.
He urged the government to explore other areas of resolving crises in the country other than amnesty.
“If the amnesty given to Niger Delta militants is to be used as a reference point to other insurgencies, I think it is a total misconception of the whole issue and as such, we have gotten it wrong.
“The people of Niger Delta had a genuine course which is internationally recognised, whereas Boko Haram have not yet come out to put their demands in such a way that Nigerians will begin to appreciate their plight.
“When you talk of giving amnesty, the first thing that should come to our mind is who are these Boko Haram.
“Who are you going to offer amnesty to.
“These are the kind of questions that Nigerians have to structure first.”
The Niger Delta born activist said that the threats by Boko Haram would not stop Jonathan from recontesting in 2015, if he so wished, adding that the group also would not stop Nigeria from moving forward.
Erebuoye, who is also an anti-corruption crusader, said the position of the president was not a right to a particular group of people, pointing out that Nigerians should decide who rules the country. (NAN)