by Ayokunle Odekunle
I grew up under a very strict father!
You don’t understand? I was put under ‘watch’ by my dad when I was in Junior secondary school and I got trashed very often. And really, I was a truant. A big one. My father back then would have placed a bet that I would not become the Lawyer that I am today.
My dad was so strict that I got trashed for almost everything. I was the person who NEVER wrote notes in class (only kept notes when I was at the Law School), ALWAYS misplaced ALL my books a few days to exam, had F9 parallel during my first 2 terms in SS1 back then at Mayflower School, Ikenne; repeated twice; was once suspended from school. To him, that was MILITANCY. He could not bear to raise a future NURTW President as a son.
How then did he reform me?
There was no Amnesty for me unless I was ready to change. Popsy tackled my ‘militancy’ with all aggressiveness. While he condoned some other behaviours from me which are/were ‘becoming’ of a youth, he never condoned anything unbecoming of a responsible youth.
Popsy appointed ‘JTFs’ (tough teachers) back then in my Secondary School who placed me under close watch. ‘Stakeholders’ (My Friends) insisted that my dad was too wicked and that he should withdraw the ‘JTFs’. He refused. And the result? The militant son has become a responsible man!
Now, this is no story time! The above ‘testimony’ reveals the scope of my write-up which is that Boko Haram should be fought in its entirety and the JTF should remain stationed there. AND?
Amnesty comes after repentance from sins!
I have followed this Boko Haram imbroglio right from the start and I find the sect most cowardly.
They have ravaged the very beautiful North (I am partly from the core North), bombed very many churches and very few mosques, and they have bombed public infrastructures such as schools, hospitals and public facilities.
Innocent men, harmless and hungry children and weak women have been their principal targets. As a result of their ‘impertinence’, President Goodluck Jonathan deployed soldiers to the streets of Northern Nigeria to curb and control this dastardly insurgency.
Elders of the North are not happy with the development. To them, the JTF should be withdrawn with immediate alacrity by Mr. President who is from a minority group, the Ijaw. Not only that, they want total amnesty for these group of murderers. They want them forgiven and ‘compensated’.
The opposition parties as usual have seen this as a perfect way to score cheap points by engaging in macabre dances. Just last month, Bola Tinubu reportedly called on President Jonathan to grant amnesty to Boko Haram as there were “innocent” Boko Haram’ members (whatever that means).
Major General Muhammadu Buhari who is still embittered because he is Nigeria’s Abraham Lincoln EMERITUS wouldn’t be outdone. He practically blamed President Goodluck Jonathan for the crisis and incited the international community to blame him for everything. I am amazed at how soon he has forgotten the resultant effect of the statement credited to him prior to the 2011 election, which triggered the mass killing of corps members serving in the north.
Furthermore, QWERTY ACTIVIST, Nasir Elrufai has time and again taken to Twitter to condemn the president for not granting amnesty to Boko Haram.
NOTE: None of these men have ever publicly condemned Boko Haram.
Before I go into the issue of amnesty, what does this dangerous group want?
They want the North to come under strict Sharia Law application, that is they want everybody in the North to become Muslims. So anybody bearing John would potentially have to change to Kabiru if he wants to continue staying in the North.
Not only that, it means churches would no longer be able to hold their services (they have kuku bombed almost all the churches sha). This in essence means Section 38 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which gives every Nigerian citizen the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion would NO LONGER be in force in Northern Nigeria.
Furthermore, their demand that ISLAMIC SHARIA LAW should be the dominant Law in force in the North is in direct negation with SECTIONS 1 (I)-(3) and 10 of the 1999 Constitution which makes the Constitution the Supreme Law in Nigerian and which further renders void ANY LAW that clashes with the constitution and prohibits the adoption of state religion by any part or the whole nation.
And as regards Boko Haram’s demands, they are also requesting that Mr. Jonathan converts to Islam and should probably start bearing Idris or something.
Lastly, Boko Haram wants anything western to be abolished from the North. They want people to reverse to the stone age when there were no Television, Radio, Western Education, Polio Vaccines and what have you. (I would pretend I don’t know that they make use of western gadgets in their operations).
After taking a cursory look at their demands and then the Northerners’ request for Amnesty for this group and the withdrawal of JTF, it is pertinent these following questions are answered:
- Are their demands sensible?
- Shouldn’t the Northern Elders take major part of this blame?
- Is GEJ/PDP responsible for the Boko Harma crisis?
- Are Boko Haram similar to the Niger-Delta Militants?
- Are they really Islamists?
- Should Boko Haram be granted amnesty at all?
Let me start with the issue number 3. Time and again, I have heard the hilarious notion that GEJ is the one using Boko Haram to destabilize Nigeria and I find this most illogical. Would my father pay armed robbers to come to our house, beat us up and plunder the house when he knows such incessant acts would make us see him as being irresponsible and weak?
I don’t agree that Goodluck Jonathan is using Boko Haram. What would he stand to gain? Does he enjoy all the abuse thrown at him because of this Boko Haram issue? Would you enjoy such yourself? And why should the Opposition beg for amnesty on behalf of terrorists sponsored by GEJ? Highly illogical.
Infact, one should not even compare them with the militants from the creeks. Firstly, the militants had a face, they tried hard to avoid bombing and attacking civilian areas so as not to kill innocent civilians. They also had a recognizable cause which is/was a better life for their people.
These Boko Haram guys are different. They are terrorists and thus should be treated as such. What kind of cause would they be fighting for that would require bombing schools, churches, beer parlours, bus parks and so on? There is a difference between militancy and cowardice.
Are the demands by Boko Haram sensible? NO! I find their demands vexatious and head bursting. Their demands are not to further improve the economic life of their people or resource control like the Niger Delta militants did.
Should the so called Northern Elders be exonerated from any blame as regards this Boko Haram insurgency? NO! I for one believe that Boko Haram’s rise is political. I fervently believe that after threatening to make Nigeria ungovernable for President Goodluck Jonathan, that should an “infidel” from the South emerge as president, these Northern elders empowered these Al-Majiris who had hitherto suffered as a result of the misrule by the Northern Elites to embarrass the ruling government and therefore make GEJ unpopular and look weak.
And I believe that after empowering these jobless and brainwashed youths with the promise of 72 virgins in heavens, the youths went berserk and the ‘Elders’ found it hard controlling them.
Simple as that!
And the demand by the Elders that the JTF who have been stationed there by the Federal Government to maintain Law and order be withdrawn is to me a pointer to their complicity in this quagmire.
And why have ALL THESE people who have been campaigning for Ammesty for Boko Haram NEVER condemned their activities publicly for once or persuaded them to reveal their identity or stop their barbaric and inordinate act? Are there no elders of the like of Edwin Clark? Silence in Law sometimes can be construed to mean “visitation of God” (mental derailment) or malice. I can perceive the latter in the silence of the Northern elders.
Let me set records straight. I do not believe that the Boko Haram guys are fighting for Islam. I have perused through the Holy Quran and nowhere is it written that innocent people be slaughtered like chicken or Ileya Rams. It further buttresses my view that Boko Haram is a political weapon which was nurtured by enemies of the present government who have suddenly lost control of the group.
Should they be granted amnesty?
NO! They should first of all come out and let us see their fine faces. At least we knew Asari Dokubo, Tompolo and Co during the Niger-Delta crises. I challenge Shekau and his ilk to come out openly also and convince us why their demands should be taken seriously.
If Shekau and the leaders of Boko Haram cannot come out and table their demands and beg for forgiveness, I see no reason why amnesty should be granted to them. If they want us to forgive them, they should first engage the services of Reinnard Bonnke or T.B Joshua to resurrect all those who have been sent to their early and late graves by their acts. They should also seek genuine repentance of their sins and lay down their arms.
I know the above would not happen. The thousands of people who have been killed by Boko Haram are gone and gone forever. Families have been destroyed and dreams shattered. The Boko Haram guys should be made to face the music and suffer for their actions.
Islam as a religion of peace has termed some things as ‘Haram’ (FORBIDDEN). The act of killing unharmed people is one of them. Should Goodluck Jonathan grant amnesty to them, he would have succeeded in showing us that he is indeed as weak as a teddy bear and has no balls. It also means he has sinned against God and the blood of all those gone to the Boko Haram disaster would forever haunt him and his seed.
Amnesty should not be granted to terrorists and criminals. The JTF should smoke them out.
KILL THEM ALL!
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