"An ex-Boko Haram member who has laid down his arms and turns away from negativity stands to become the president of this country and take up any position in this country.”
Major General Abdulmalik Bulama Biu, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, and Sector Commander (Sector 1) Operation Lafiya Dole, allegedly made the above statement on Saturday in an interview with journalists.
The masses found it hard to swallow the part where he suggested that a Boko Haram member could become the president of Nigeria.
However, the GOC has denied those words were his, saying he was quoted out of context.
"In specific, I appealed to Boko Haram insurgents to accept the opportunity provided to them through the ‘Operation Safe Corridor’, to lay down their arms, rejoin the society, reintegrate themselves, be productive, and do better things.
"I also moved further to say that there are a lot of opportunities for them to gain if they surrender themselves without being confronted.”
“I want to emphatically say that such misinformation is rather unfounded, baseless and at best, mere figment of the author’s jaundiced imagination,” Major General Biu said in his defense.
The offer of amnesty is not going to be the first made by the Nigerian government. Recall on Thursday, April 7, 2013, the then President of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, made an amnesty proposal to the insurgents of the notorious Boko Haram sect.
Buhari's administration is offering amnesty yet again to the terrorist group which has now risen to the third most violent group in the world, as monitored by the 2018 Global Terrorism index.
Though the deaths from terrorism in Nigeria have reduced by 16% from 2014 to 2018, Nigerians will seek no better joy than the complete eradication of the Boko Haram sect that shock Nigerians with major terrorist acts like the abduction of the Chibok girls and Dapchi girls.