Nigerian Christians Denounce Pressure to Grant Boko Haram Amnesty

The Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans (CANAN) recently denounced mounting pressure on the Nigerian government to grant extremist group Boko Haram amnesty.

In a statement CANAN's executive director, Laolu Akande, said there are other options apart from amnesty.

"We are not out rightly against a political solution, side by side with the enforcement of law and order which is government's primary assignment anywhere," Akande told The Premium Times.

CANAN stressed that a political approach requires the participation of both parties involved in the conflict.

The past rejection of dialogue and negotiations by Boko Haram leaders has left CANAN skeptical, Akande explained, noting that past leaders seemingly open to a political solution have been killed.

In light of this, CANAN is left wondering who the Nigerian government will negotiate with. "Can a man clap with one hand?" Akande asked.

The strident attempts by a group of Nigerian political elite to grant Boko Haram amnesty have been monitored closely by CANAN.

The group said the government's agreement to form a committee to consider the terrorist group's demand for amnesty was a betrayal to the wives, children and relatives of Boko Haram victims.

CANAN noted the Nigerian government could take concrete steps to help victims, and to learn the exact death toll of Boko Haram victims.

"We have made it clear before now that most of the victims of Boko Haram are Christians, whose only offence is their choice of worship. Together last month, our association and CAN in Nigeria gave voice to the victims at a press conference in Abuja. We also announced a widow's mite of 50,000 dollars to the victims," CANAN told The Premium Times.