The Presidency Saturday distanced itself from the amnesty reported to have been granted to members of Boko Haram, as claimed on Thursday last week by the Youth Development Minister, Mr. Boni Haruna.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati in an interview with State House correspondents in Abuja Saturday said, the President never offered amnesty to members of Boko Haram, but instead offered constructive dialogue if they renounced violence and terrorism.
He made allusion to the President’s Democracy Day speech where Jonathan said the doors of his administration remained opened to dialogue, provided they renounced terrorism and embrace dialogue.
It could be recalled that Haruna, had in his speech, while giving an overview of the youth agenda by the President Jonathan administration as part of the this year’s Democracy Day in Abuja, noted that the President had declared amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect, who would surrender their arms and embrace peace.
He, therefore, called on behalf of the federal government on members to “embrace the government’s gesture and key into the amnesty programme.”
On the death of Emir of Gwoza, Abati expressed the President’s sadness over the murder of the Emir of Gwoza in Borno, Alhaji Idrisa Timta by the Boko Haram members, and described the development as troubling for Jonathan.
“President got the news and he was sad about it because what it means these terrorists who are threatening peace and stability in Nigeria, they are desperate and they continue to show that desperation… But as the President made it clear in his democracy day broadcast, that was his main message to Nigerians, that at the end of the day it is the people of Nigeria that will prevail,” he said.