by Paul Osas
The president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, while applauding the sentencing of four Boko Haram members to life imprisonment by an Abuja High Court, described as puzzling the ceasefire agreement claimed to have been reached between the Federal Government and the Boko Haram sect.
“I am a little bit puzzled on the position of government that the groups have agreed to cease fire’’, he said.
Speaking at the presentation of a book, “Shunpiking: No Shortcuts to God’’, written by Reno Omokri, Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on New Media, the CAN president said that although Christianity preaches forgiveness, the judgment against the terrorists will assuage the families of the victims of the attack.
“We are Christians, we are taught to forgive, but what is important is the feeling that there is justice.
“I think that is what it is now. Those people that were killed left people behind. There are widows and there are orphans.
“They will sit back and say if there is nothing else, those people who did this will remain in custody for the rest of their lives and that gives a bit of comfort,’’ he said.
The court, presided over by Justice Bilikisu Aliyu, on Tuesday sentenced four out of six persons accused of bombing INEC office in Suleja, Niger in April 2012. Many were killed and others wounded in the blast.
The CAN President, who was chairman of the book presentation, also spoke about the ceasefire agreement between the Federal Government and the Boko Haram sect. Oritsejafor added that, “We have had occasions in the past where some people come out suddenly and say they have renounced violence but the next day, we see people killed here and there. A week or two later, the Boko Haram leader, Shekau came out to say he nows nothing about those people and that it is President Jonathan that needed amnesty and not the sect members. We also know that there is another faction that came out of Shekau’s group that kills foreigners. There are at least two deadly groups that we know, so which group are they negotiating with.
“To me, the whole thing is suspect, but anyone that will come out to say he is tired of violence is a good thing because the number of religious fanatics will reduce by one. However, I am a little bit puzzled on the position of government that the groups have agreed to cease fire’’, he said.