BREAKING NEWS: Jonathan Declares Amnesty For Boko Haram

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Minister of Youth Development, Mr. Boni Haruna, on Thursday disclosed that President Goodluck Jonathan has announced amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect as parts of his administration’s youths-friendly programmes and policies.

Haruna disclosed this while giving an overview of youth’s position in the present administration’s transformation agenda at a special event tagged “A day with young leaders of Nigeria” to mark the nation’s Democracy Day in Abuja.
The minister said series of integration programmes have been lined up for members of the sect who would surrender their arms and embrace peace.
He therefore called on them to embrace the government’s gesture.

The minister said, “President Goodluck Jonathan has also declared amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect.
“Series of integration programmes have been lined up for the members of the sect who would surrender their arms and embrace peace.
“Let me use this opportunity on behalf of the Federal Government, to call on the members of the Boko Haram sect to embrace the government’s gesture and key to amnesty programme.”

He recalled that in the wake of youth restiveness in the Niger Delta, the government came up with a development programme which provided an opportunity for the youth to express themselves and have a meaningful life.
Haruna said although the amnesty programme was a fallout of a bitter national security, its effect on the youth had been profound.

He disclosed that 30,000 youths have benefitted from the programme which has seen beneficiaries transforming from militants to wealth creators, employers of labour and skilled citizens.
Jonathan, while answering questions from youths who attended the programme, said military alone was incapable of stopping terrorism or any kind of radicalism.
He said terrorism could not succeed in any community without local supports.
He stressed the need for people who are respected by the insurgents to join hands with government to persuade them to desist.

The President said, “Terror succeeds with local support. It will be difficult for terror to thrive where people reject it. It is a major challenge to all of us.
“Military alone cannot stop terror or any radicalism. Terrorists have people they respect, they have community, traditional and opinion leaders they respect. All of us can deradicalise them.

“We will through persuasive activities encourage people to shun violence.”
He said his government was already working out the modalities for reintroducing moral education into school curriculum.
This, he said, would assist in re-orientation the young people in order to distinguish between right and wrong things.

Jonathan promised that his administration would continue to encourage young people because they are no longer leaders of tomorrow but of today.
He said youths are already leading because they decide who rules at all levels of government by virtue of their population which he put at 60 per cent of the electorates.

The President also reiterated his position that the nation’s income distribution was skewed.
While saying that government was working hard to redistribute wealth, he added that one of the emphasis of the government is to encourage self-employment.

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