Boroh: Create Amnesty Programmes in States with Armed Groups

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Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Brig-Gen Paul Boroh (rtd), has appealed to states with armed groups willing to disarm to emulate the Benue State Government, which has put in place a comprehensive amnesty programme for militant groups in the state.

Boroh argued that the federal government alone cannot carry out such a programme in every part of the country.

No fewer than 10 states, particularly in the southern part of the country, currently have one form of armed group or the other.

In a statement he issued to commemorate the 2016 United Nations International Day of Peace, otherwise known as the World Peace Day, Boroh stated that to ensure the cultivation of peace in Nigeria, the federal government introduced and had maintained in the Niger Delta, the amnesty programme “which is a master piece strategy for peace.”

He noted that although it comes at a great price, no effort is too much to ensure peace.
The Buhari administration, he said, should be commended for keeping the programme on track “and for its iron clad determination to exterminate terrorism in the country particularly by the Boko Haram sect.”

“A period like this is an important one for all Nigerians to spare a thought for our internally displaced compatriots in the North-east who have been the victims of Boko Haram terrorism. I urge Nigerians and the international community to join the federal government in resettling the displaced families and rebuilding the North-east.

“Let me state that peace is not given and must not be taken for granted; it is like crops that need to be planted, watered and cultured with care before it can germinate and be harvested.
“I urge all Nigerians to work for peace by sowing its seeds all over the country. There are armed groups in some states willing to disarm and I appeal to the governments of such states to emulate the Benue State government that has in place a comprehensive amnesty programme,”
Boroh said in the statement captioned “Peace is Like Oxygen, But tragically, it is in short supply.”

According to him, the human race needs to reflect on its very survival, adding that “peace, like food, is one of the most essential needs of humanity, yet in most parts of the world, it is in critical short supply.”

He argued that lack of peace is no different from famine as both have the same debilitating and tragic consequences for human survival.

“While in most parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, peace has
become endangered species, almost the rest of humanity is experiencing one form of terrorism or the other, be it local or international.

Boroh harped on the need to build a culture of tolerance and debate in the country, even as he canvassed for schools to inculcate the spirit of peaceful resolution of issues in children and for tertiary institutions to establish courses in peace building, conflict prevention and resolution.

“On a general level, it is in the interest of humanity to resolve conflicts and build peace because, like the refugee crises and the tidal waves of immigrants falling on European shores have shown, crisis in one part of the world, has implications for peace in all parts of the world,” the presidential aide said.