Listening to President Jonathan’s reported extension of the tenure of the sitting of the Turaki-led Panel on Amnesty for Boko Haram recently, one would have thought that the President must have perhaps seen or known what other Nigerians couldn’t have seen or known. This is because, right from inception, the panel has consistently been parading gross inconsistency, ineptitude and outright falsehood in its numerous incoherent claims.
Just as the Federal Government muted the idea of amnesty, a couple of months ago, the group issued a clear, categorical statement, stressing its opposition to the offer of amnesty and as if determined to expose the panel’s charlatanistic tendency, it would be recalled that, each time Turaki came out to do the chest-beating over his panel’s acclaimed accomplishment, the sect would strike almost simultaneously. For instance, as soon as he came out to announce to Nigerians that his panel met with Kabiru Sokoto and that the meeting had made remarkable progress, the latter quickly came out to deny ever meeting them. On another occasion, just at the beginning of the Ramadan fasting, Turaki came out to inform Nigerians that his panel had reached a ceasefire agreement with the sect, which was to last the entire duration of the religious rites. He had hardly finished talking when the sect came out to debunk the claim and subsequently struck with greater intensity, killing scores of innocent people.
And most recently, rather than lie low and work silently, Turaki again came out to boast over what he claimed to be a remarkable progress in his panel’s parley with the sect. He told Nigerians that the sect had assured his panel of its resolve to dialogue with the federal government towards achieving a lasting peace in the country but as usual, what immediately followed was the massive massacre of innocent people of Mbanga village located on the outskirts of Bama Town in Borno State, who had their throats slashed while sleeping at night. In all, forty-five were reported slaughtered while scores were severely injured. This trend has of recent been more ruthless as hardly had a day passed in the past one month without a report of one attack or the other, either against innocent members of the public or the combined taskforce.
For goodness sake, why can’t Turaki and his co-impostors just leave the already distressed, seemingly despondent Nigerians alone? Or what else can we do since neither the presidency nor the Turaki panel, seem to be sure of what they actually need to do to end this unprovoked massacre? They should stop this fooling. We have had enough of these insults to the sensibility of the Nigerians.
We say, enough of these double standards. By the way, how does one reconcile the government’s pronouncement of an emergency rule in these affected states and still preserving all the political structures and functions intact, considering that President has himself, on several occasions, claimed that there exist accomplices of the sect within his government, one would have expected that the emergency rule be total and comprehensive. It is only by so doing that the federal government via the military formation in these states could assume total and unhindered control of the security situation there. It is clear that these insurgents tactically select their areas of operation which presumably, must have been based upon the intelligence information which had already leaked into their hands possibly from saboteurs within hence most times they operate for hours without interruption from any quarters.
In view of this, the President should, without delay, dissolve this charade called Amnesty Panel for the Boko Haram insurgents and save the wastage of the nation’s resources on it as its existence and mission are of no relevance whatsoever. It is illogical that the government would bring its military might down on the insurgents on one hand and at the same time begging them to accept amnesty on the other. President Jonathan certainly needs to review the current strategy towards achieving results. Lives are being wasted at a very disturbing rate. It is just not enough to continue to boast over the dislodgement of the insurgents when we witness this spate of attacks and slaughtering almost on a daily basis. The Presidency should please stop playing politics with precious human lives by scoring themselves high even when it is obvious that they are apparently not in control.
President Goodluck Jonathan needs to be true to himself, accept defeat owing to the failure of his intelligence apparata and military might, and come down from his high horse to end this war because he has apparently lost to Boko Haram. President Jonathan should recognise that several other parts of Nigeria are angry with him. He should therefore begin the process of conveying the Sovereign National Conference without further delay to address the myriads of challenges bedeviling this country, otherwise the FG would be courting a bloody revolution it cannot survive.
Executive Chairman, CACOL
10 Sept, 2013