Presidency Saturday said Goodluck Jonathan did not grant Boko Haram members Amnesty, contrary to claims by the Minister of Youth Development, Boni Haruna that President Goodluck Jonathan had granted conditional pardon to the terrorists group.
In a speech tagged ”a day with young leaders of Nigeria” in commemoration of Democracy Day Thursday, disclosed that Jonathan offered amnesty to the dreaded sect with a view to putting permanent halt to insurgency in the North-east.
The minister had stated that “President Goodluck Jonathan has also declared amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect. Series of integration programmes have been lined up for the members of the sect who would surrender their arms and embrace peace.”
The Nigerian Military was also quoted as granted Amnesty to the dreaded Islamic sect on same day announced by the Youth Minister.
But the Special Adviser to the President on media and publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, speaking to state house correspondents said that Jonathan did not mention the word amnesty in his Democracy Day broadcast.
“Well I think I will refer you to the speech by the President, if you read it line by line, you will see that it contains the very message that the President wants to put across”.
“And in that speech, if you look at it, I don’t think the President used the word Amnesty.”
“The President spoke about those who are willing to denounce terrorism, those who are ready to embrace peace, opportunities have been created for them through the presidential fact finding committee on dialogue and peace resolution of conflicts in the northeastern part of Nigeria. So I will refer you basically to the speech by the President.
“President in the democracy address explained that despite Federal Government’s disposition for possible reconciliation with any terrorist group, it would be on the condition that they are prepared to lay down arms.
“For our citizens who have joined hands with Al Qaeda and international terrorists in the misguided belief that violence can possibly solve their problems, our doors remain open to them for dialogue and reconciliation, if they renounce terrorism and embrace peace” Abati said.