Friday, April 5, 2013
AMNESTY TO BOKO HARAM, JONATHAN IS A LISTENING PRESIDENT.
Icheoku takes umbrage at the motley of Nigerians who are attacking the decision of President "I don't give a damn" Jonathan Goodluck to grant amnesty to the Northern Nigerian Islamic terrorists Boko Haram as flip-floping and wobbly. No, it is not. It is rather a sign of strength as the ability to check oneself and restrain from doing that which one can easily do is the real test of strength. It is much unlike the complex of 'let me show you how devilish I am as I prove myself capable of inflicting the most pain and anguish' attitude of past leaders like Olusegun Obasanjo.
By changing his earlier stand of "no amnesty to ghosts," to now considering the plea of Northern Nigerian traditional rulers and elders alike to grant amnesty to these terrorists, the president has exhibited a rare quality of most African leaders who are usually not attuned to listening to the voices of the people; but would always bull their way through no matter how repugnant, odious, faulty, unreasonable and irrational their decision is or might be. It is called being pragmatic and pragmatism is no vice nor a character flaw; it is a virtue and a real strength of character. It is being a statesman and someone proving himself capable of listening to the views of others. A good leader must always listen to the people he leads otherwise he courts for trouble as a discordant people is an unruly people and no leader wants to be so saddled.
The president has once again, by agreeing to explore the issue of amnesty for these murderous thugs, demonstrated that he is indeed a true democrat who listens to the people and not a despotic tyrant with a "do or die" disposition of a military dictator like Olusegun Obasanjo. Icheoku sees nothing wrong with President Goodluck Jonathan exploring the amnesty option with these Northern Nigerian Islamic terrorists; afterall late President Umaru Yar'Adua successfully did same with the Niger Delta terrorists. It is called reciprocity at best and in the same manner Icheoku supported the president' clemency and pardon granted DSP Alameiseigha and others as being constitutionally empowered, so also is Icheoku stating that granting amnesty to Boko Haram is within the president's power and it is both politically and socially a sound and good policy. Politics is a give and take venture and if amnesty is the tool those Northern Nigeria traditional rulers and elders require to get the job of restoring security in their domain done, so be it - JUST GIVE IT TO THEM.
With amnesty granted, the onus has shifted and now squarely rests on the sureties and guarantors of these Northern Nigerian marauders, their traditional rulers and elders, to make sure that peace is restored in their enclave. Icheoku says by insisting and moving for a presidential amnesty for Boko Haram as a precursor to peace, these Northern Nigerian traditional rulers and elders, have literally bonded themselves to bring peace to Northern Nigeria. Icheoku says now that they have it, they henceforth owe it to both President Jonathan and the rest of Nigerians to ensure that no more bomb goes off in Northern Nigeria or any other part of Nigeria for that matter that Boko Haram may choose to ply their terrorism or export same to. They must bring their full weight and disposition to bear on these their wayward wards and reign in their blood-letting murderous activities so that Northern Nigeria especially, might breath a new lease of life. Anything short of this expectation will be discomforting and Nigerians will know then who is not keeping their part of the amnesty bargain.
Peradventure, Northern Nigerian traditional rulers and elders alike now have an unwavering stake in the Boko Haram madness and it is their duty going forward to ensure that normalcy is restored in their part of the country. The government has done their part by yielding to their call for amnesty to these hooligans, so they must do their own part by doing the expected or better put, the required. By securing amnesty for these terrorists from the government, the Northern Nigerian traditional rulers and elders have, by necessary implication, undertaken to guarantee peace and ensure there is NO MORE BOMBS from Maiduguri to Birnin Kebbi to Suleja or even across and below the two rivers Niger and Benue down to Lagos. If any Nigerian is killed again, if any church is bombed again, if any place is blown up again or bomb making materials found stocked in another Bayelsa government owned property in Ijora or any other place; Icheoku says the Northern Nigerian traditional rulers and elders will have some explaining to do to Nigerians on why they failed or could not or did not keep their part of the bargain. Icheoku says grant Boko Haram amnesty, let peace reign and let the promised breath of fresh air now permeate the land.
One other aside:- Senate President David Mark has of late become very taciturn with the insecurity in Nigeria, unlike his ever present condemnations during IGP Ogbonna Onovo's very brief six months stint as the top law enforement officer of Nigeria. Icheoku queries this unabashed and unapologetic Igbo-hater what has changed or has security been improved now compared to his ever public haranguing of then IGP Onovo for failing to solve all the problems of insecurity in Nigeria and within so short period in office? Anyway, it is midget David Mark, an Idoma and his hatred of Igbo people runs in their DNA ditto the gory dismembering fate meted out to returning Igbo refugees at Oturkpo during Biafra.