Emergency rule has derailed amnesty – Northern elders

Northern elders have said the declaration of a state of emergency and massive troop deployments in three states in the North East is ill-timed and ill-conceived.

They also said the action had effectively ended the proposed amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect.

In separate interviews with our correspondents, in Abuja, on Thursday, Spokesperson of the Northern Elders Forum, Prof. Ango Abdullahi and Dr. Junaid Mohammed described the President’s action as counter-productive.

Abdullahi said, “The states have always been in a state of emergency in the states that were announced the other day.

“The states have always been occupied by soldiers anyway; I think this measure is just a formality. From all indications, those areas that have been announced as coming under the emergency, except Adamawa, Yobe and Borno, have always been practically under the state of emergency.

“Our own interpretation of the crisis and amnesty or reconciliation committee, the surprise here is that the committee has not even been allowed to start serious work before their undermining because you can’t have the two together.

“You can’t have war while you are talking about peace and this is what we have on the ground now. We have this war and dialogue; I don’t know which one will succeed.”

According to him, if allegations that members of the sect have taken over a part of Borno State are true, it is a demonstration of the failure of the state.

He said, “If it is true that this has happened it is the failure of the previous military effort against their activities. It remains to be seen whether the intensification of the military effort will succeed in an area where they failed before.

“It remains to be seen whether this is a good strategy but from all rational analysis, it is ill timed, and ill advised because if the President was thinking of a state of emergency, he would have refrained from agreeing to set up this amnesty or reconciliation committee and concentrate on the war effort.

“To me, the work of the amnesty committee is practically terminated and we will wait for the outcome of the war.”

He explained that, “I cannot see how this will go together when you are more or less pursuing the same people that you want to come forward to discuss with you.”

Abdullahi insisted that there was no military solution to the insurgency as such dialogue remain the best option.


JD:The Northern elders are not in good company here with their argument.they are with the isolated few who believe Jonathan had not exhausted the peaceful option  before as it were declaring war.I beg to disagree,indeed I am inclined to believe that the latest onslaught might just fast track the peace protest for now ,the government might be negotiating from a position of strength having hopefully routed the operational base of the insurgents.Lets test this option first and if it doesn’t work,well………


  1. It appears that BOKO HARAM is not interested in the amnesty stuff, maybe they will embrace the state of imergency tonic. Trust the doctor!

  2. For the first time of this addministration Mr president did the right thing for introduction of state of imergency on those 3 states.How could he av been rated both at local n international level if Boko Haram succesfully pronounced those states as Islamic state?that could spell war?
    Northern leaders has failed at every level to proove that they could find solution to the lingering problem in their region

  3. I beg to disagree with the northern elders or is it leaders. For starters who are they ? Who elected them? Who made them the mouthpiece of the northerners ? If they were so confident of acceptance by their people why in the name of rice and beans are they making their proclamation from abuja? they should try it from maiduguri.
    In my opinion i think amnesty package is just relegating these people to beggars like they’ve always been . Which is what their so called leaders have turned them to. While the whole of nigeria was moving forward in whatever direction they could their leaders moved to have them in perpetual penury and now it has turned back to bite them in the butt and they want the whole of nigeria to share in the bite ? In their bid to have their people perpetually under them they denied them all the bare necessities of life for how long did they think they were going to get away with it. Everyone should sit down and think why, would a grown up man refuse easy money that would let him have his way in heaven and on earth and go live like a nomad? Simple answer whatever r he is being offered is too little too late. And you can’t buy self esteem for a man. Nor can you buy self achievement for him either. The northern leaders have over the years taken away the humanity of their people away from them .Now all they are left with is the animal in them. I wish them good luck because they are going to need it.
    The northern elders have pushed GEJ to the wall, the man has to defend his territory .

  4. this emergency state of affairs declaration was late in my own estimation,by @ least a year and half. for anybody to put an option of amnesty for people that killed children, pregnant women,innocent worshippers in a church on a christmas day, immigration officers, prison warders,student on campus,etc to me is as bad as being the bombers. we seem to have a very short memory in this country. last year, over 200 people were reported to have been killed in 1 day alone!!! in kano!!! do we actually have the total number of policemen that have lost their lives to the BH people? and what for example do we all think will be going through the mind of the woman that lost her husband and 3 of her four children in a church on a christmas day?if the BEST we can offer is payment for the perpetrator of these crimes? are WE REALLY THIS MEAN IN THIS COUNTRY? somebody should please wake me up if am having a nightmare!!!!

  5. The Northern Elders got it very wrong, when the president offer armnesty, boko haram said and i quote “who is the federal government to give them (boko haram) armnesty? That they are the ones to give Nigeria armnesty”. So GEJ is very correct, the same elders are their sponsors and i owed them no apology. They (Northern Elders Forum) should hide their faces in shame, elders my foot.

  6. I think the Northern Elders are myopic in their thinking, and tribalistic in their utterances! Like always, they are trying to reduce the Boko Haram issue to a tribal matter: no, it is not! It’s an issue that borders on Nationl security and territorial integrity! President Jonathan as the Nation’s “Chief Security Officer” has taken a very bold step in the right direction, and he should be commended rather than condemned! The Nation has to move forward; we cannot be held to ransom forever!

  7. Mr,Jimi i listen to you every morning Tuesday to Friday on classic fm,and i must say i ve a lot of respect for your opinions but not this one,Let me quickly say that i have a dual indegeneship partly south south partly north so it is not in my interest to be bias toward either part or either Christianity or islam that i am,because i ve christian in my own family…..That said on the issue of elders,in my view as someone who had traveled to all the geopolitical zones of the country i can tell you that your attitude about the northern elders as to who elected or appointed them may have been right in the 3 southern region but not the north.
    Sir the north is still a society that is still somehow close to their culture regarding respect for their leaders.its a society that still respect leadership figures,in every town or village you go,there are always one or two personalities everyone listen to.not necessarily the king or local govt chairman,but what some may call an opinion leaders.most times these could be ex military officers,politician,retired civil servant.these people they go to when they have problems of any sort from marital troubles to inability to feed or pay their kids school feel,all kinds of problems,now when elections come whoever these guys decide to support is who will have the most vote from that place.same reason why most a times their vote are always em-block,up there its still a very close society,so if you just generalize the way you did this week thinking we are all like that,no one should go and speak for us up there we didn’t send them etc,true in the south but not so in the north,i can assure you these people are speaking the minds of the average northerner,that is their way of life there.something from the Islamic religion and not the way you present it,which is very western democracy like.I hope you can understand what i mean.its help finding out whether the madman drinks medicine before cooking the herbs.thanks

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