The Christian Association of Nigeria, on Thursday called on the Federal Government to disband the amnesty committee because its continuous existence would be tantamount to working against the international community.
CAN hinged its renewed call on the decision of the International Criminal Court to probe the activities of the insurgent sect, Boko Haram.
The ICC had last week said that Boko Haram members were committing crimes against humanity for which their leaders would be tried.
Also commenting on the ICC’s move, the Northern socio-political group, the Arewa Consultative Forum, said the court could prosecute the Boko Haram leaders.
Although the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of the Security Challenges in the North said its mandate did not include criminalisation and therefore had nothing to do with prosecution, CAN maintained that it was high time the Federal Government ended the work of the amnesty committee.
The Public Relations Officer of CAN (19 Northern states and Abuja), Mr. Sunny Oibe, said in an interview with Saturday PUNCH, on Thursday that the global community should strengthen its support for Nigeria to wipe out Boko Haram.
He said, “We have been justified because if you could remember, some months ago, the CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, threatened that CAN was going to take Boko Haram to the International Criminal Court because they were committing genocide against humanity.
“The whole world bombarded him, insulted and called him all sorts of names. The pronouncement of ICC shows that all what Oritsejafor stood for has come to materialise. In fact, Nigerians should celebrate him.
“Today, ICC has branded Boko Haram a criminal organisation. Outside Al Qaeda, Boko Haram has been branded a criminal group that has killed so many human beings. CAN has been justified and we are therefore calling on the Federal Government to disband the amnesty committee that is wasting public resources because if it doesn’t do that, the government may be accused of working against the international community of which Nigeria is a member.
“The Federal Government should discontinue its discussions and negotiation with Boko Haram. We are therefore calling on the international community to strengthen its support for Nigerian government in ensuring that Boko Haram is completely wiped out since it does not want this country to move forward.”
The ACF spokesman, Mr. Anthony Sani, said, “If the ICC knows Boko Haram members and can probe them, nobody can prevent ICC from probing the sect.”
But reacting to the development, Chairman of the amnesty committee/Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki (SAN), told one of our correspondents that the mandate of the committee did not include giving out punishment.
He said, “We don’t want to comment on something that does not involve us. We have nothing to do with criminalisation and committing of crime. Since we don’t have anything to do with criminalisation, we don’t have anything to do with prosecution. It is not part of our mandate to give punishment. We are not involved in crime investigation; we are just a dialogue committee.”
Meanwhile, top security source has said that the security operatives involved in the campaign against terrorism in the North East have not observed the purported ceasefire with the militants for one day.
The source said that the military was not involved in any discussion with the insurgents.
The source also said that the military had not received any directive to stop the ongoing operation even for a day.
It was stated that the military had express directives to engage the insurgents and rid the country of terrorist activities.
“When you people talk about discussion with the insurgents, we are not part of it. The military has a job to do, and that is what we have been doing.
“It is the government that has been discussing with them; the military has been doing its work.
“When they talk about ceasefire, we are not involved in it. In fact, there is no time the military has been told to observe a ceasefire. We have not had such a directive.
“I can tell you that the military has not observed a ceasefire for one day,” the source said