Daily Trust (Abuja)

7 April 2013

Nigeria: Extend Amnesty Package to Whole North, Group Tells FG

Jos — A group, Association of Northern Youths for the Advancement of Peace Harmony and Development, has asked the federal government to extend the benefits of the amnesty it has mooted for Boko Haram to all northern states that have suffered any form of terrorism in recent times.

Expressing support for the amnesty through a statement signed by its president, Melvin Ejeh and passed to journalists in Jos yesterday, the group enjoined government not to concentrate the search for potential beneficiaries in states believed to be hotbeds of Boko Haram but to states such as Plateau that have had to endure acts of violence.

"Almost all the states in the north have had their own share of senseless terrorist attacks," the group said, adding, "Middle Belt state like Plateau is one of the most hit, as it has lost thousands of innocent people and recorded the death of prominent victims of terrorist attacks like the late Senator Gyang Dantong and former Majority Leader in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani.

"Limiting the program to some states will be counter-productive."

The statement said, "We want to also call on the federal government not to allow the would-be amnesty program to be hijacked by any group of persons that might want to claim more ownership of the north."

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