Boko Haram did not ask for amnesty – Briggs

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A picture taken from a video distributed to journalists in recent days through intermediaries and obtained by AFP on March 5, 2013 reportedly shows Abubakar Shekau (C), the suspected leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, flanked by six armed and hooded fighters in an undisclosed place.

Abuja—A Niger Delta activist, Madam Ankio Briggs, has said the planned amnesty for Boko Haram Islamist sect by the Presidency will put Nigeria at a crossroad.

Speaking with journalist on the issue, Briggs said Boko Haram itself did not ask for amnesty, stressing that it was negotiated for them by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar 111, a situation, she said, made it a political matter.

Her words: “Is it Boko Haram that asked for amnesty? Where has Boko Haram asked for amnesty? Boko Haram did not ask for amnesty. The Sultan of Sokoto asked for Amnesty for Boko Haram?”

She further stated that people should desist from comparing the deadly sect to the agitation of the Niger Delta people which necessitated the offer of amnesty to the youths of the region by the government of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2009.

“As far as I am concerned, the comparison of Boko Haram to the Niger Delta crisis is not acceptable and can never be acceptable to the Niger Delta people. Our issues are different. Boko Haram has not asked for amnesty.

“Niger Delta people did not ask for amnesty. Amnesty was offered and the reason why amnesty was offered was very clear. The Nigerian economy was on its knees. That was why Yar’Adua offered amnesty. Niger Delta agitations were prepared to carry on. It was Yar’Adua that offered amnesty. I was part of the process so I know what I am talking about,” she said.

Briggs believed that the quest for amnesty was about politics, oil and power, just as she predicted that with the offer of amnesty to Boko Haram, Nigeria might just be heading to the brinks.

“Nigeria is at a crossroad. Nigeria is at a self distrust crossroad. Wole Soyinka has said a week ago that Nigeria is at the verge of a civil war. Did he not say so?

“He said that thing even before the Northern people met with Jonathan. So, Nigeria is at a crossroad, a self-destructive crossroad.”



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