The leader of Boko Haram has released a statement saying that he would reject any potential amnesty deal offered by the Nigerian government. In rejecting the amnesty deal, Boko Haram’s leader claimed that the sect has committed no crimes the groups needs to be granted amnesty for. This is a denial of the murder of over 3,000 people killed by the sect in northern Nigeria. Christians continue to advocate against the amnesty deal, saying that it will only deny Boko Haram’s victims the justice they deserve.
4/12/2013 Nigeria (CANAN) – The leader of Nigeria’s radical Islamist group Boko Haram has rejected the idea of any potential amnesty deal, which the country’s presidency said it would study in a bid to curb a bloody insurgency, in a statement obtained by AFP on Thursday.
Abubakar Shekau, the purported head of Boko Haram who has been designated a global terrorist by the United States, claimed his group had “not committed any wrong to deserve amnesty.”
“Surprisingly, the Nigerian Government is talking about granting us amnesty. What wrong have we done? On the contrary, it is we that should grant you pardon,” he said, listing what he described as the state’s “atrocities” against Muslims.
The Hausa language audio recording was distributed by email in a manner consistent with previous Boko Haram messages, and the voice was similar to that of previous Shekau statements.
President Goodluck Jonathan last week formed a panel to look at the possibility of offering an amnesty deal to the Islamists, whose insurgency has left more than 3,000 people dead since 2009, including killings by the security services.
Jonathan has come under intense pressure over the issue, with politicians from the country’s violence-torn north as well as Nigeria’s highest Muslim spiritual figure, the Sultan of Sokoto, calling for amnesty.
The panel, reportedly to be composed of national security officials, northern leaders and others, is due to report later this month.
The move has been widely debated in Nigerian media in recent days.
Boko Haram has claimed to be fighting for an Islamic state in Africa’s most populous nation and largest oil producer.
The group also claimed the February 19 kidnapping of a French family of seven over the border in Cameroon. Their whereabouts remain unknown.