INDIGENOUS People of Biafra leader Nnamdi Kanu has condemned the recent overtures by the Nigerian Army to terrorist sects Boko Haram and Islamic State in West African Province (Iswap) in which they were offered an amnesty if they laid down their arms.
Last week, the Nigerian Army called on both organisations to take advantage of the federal government’s peace offer, ask them to put down their weapons and embrace peace, as an end to the war is in sight. Brigadier Abdulwahad Eyitayo, the general officer commanding the Seventh Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, said that no one, including the military, was happy with the bloodshed and called on the remnants of the terrorist organisations to take advantage of the amnesty and repent without further delay.
Brigadier Eyitayo said: “We are not here for bloodletting, no one is happy that people are dying. Some of the insurgents listen to the media, so it is good for us to appeal to them through the media to avoid violence, come forward to ask for forgiveness and reconciliation.”
Responding, Mr Kanu lamented the fact that the terrorists would be rehabilitated, recruited into the army and posted to southern Nigeria. In a tweet, he said Nigerian Army Begs Boko Haram and Iswap terrorists for reconciliation.
Mr Kanu added: “And after reconciliation, they will be rehabilitated, recruited into the army and sent to the south to shoot to kill. Now you see why I keep calling it a terrorist army.”
Former aviation minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, added: “Since when has the Nigerian Army resorted to begging murderers, killers and terrorists? How have the mighty fallen.”
More than 30,000 Nigerians have been killed while over 3m are displaced across the northeast of the country by Boko Haram terrorists since 2009. In addition, the terrorist organisation also has many Nigerians held in its custody.
On April 14, 2014, 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped from their school in Chibok and although 164 have been reunited to their families, 112 are still in captivity and many of them reportedly married off to Boko Haram commanders. On February 19, 2018, 110 schoolgirls were kidnapped from Government Girls’ Science Secondary School in Dapchi in Bulabutin, Yunusari Local Government Area of Yobe State.
Five of the girls died on the same day and all others were released in March 2018 except Leah Sharibu, a Christian girl who refused to renounce her faith. These atrocities have led many commentators object to any deal with the terrorists.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has, on more than one occasion, vowed to deal with Mr Kanu and Ipob. In his last interview with Arise Television, the president vowed to send more army and police personnel to the southeast to deal with members of the group.