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Nigerian cardinal weighs in on amnesty proposal for Boko Haram

June 11, 2014

Nigeria’s leading prelate has lent conditional support to President Goodluck Jonathan’s proposal to offer amnesty to Boko Haram members who lay down their arms.

“The motivation has to be the pursuit of peace and reconciliation with people who admit wrongdoing and are ready to repent,” said Cardinal Onaiyekan in a letter published by the Lagos-based Guardian. “It is therefore not enough to lay down arms, perhaps because of superior fire power of government forces. There must also be a sincere change of heart. And this is a difficult though not an impossible project.”

“It does not make any sense, both in justice and morality, to budget for former murderers and make no provisions for the innocent victims of their atrocities,” he added. “People have lost loved ones. Widows and orphans have been left without succor. Businesses have been destroyed. Property, homes and even places of worship have been reduced to rubbles.”


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