The Archbishop of Nigeria Nicholas Okoh has warned that a blanket amnesty for the terror group Boko Haram would see Christians driven from Northern Nigeria. In a position paper prepared by the church in response to the creation of an amnesty commission by President Goodluck Jonathan, the archbishop warned that amnesty without reconciliation would not solve the problem.
“If the Federal Government goes ahead through the amnesty committee to make peace on BH’s terms, it would have inadvertently and effectively banned Christians and Christianity from the North. In the amnesty committee, who will speak for the right of the church, not to be tolerated, but as Nigerian Christians to exist side by side with Islam and Muslims, build churches, worship freely, move about freely without being hunted down with all sorts of weapons?,” said the document entitled “’The rough edges of the amnesty proposition”.
According to extracts published by the Vanguard newspaper on 29 April 2013 the Archbishop asked: “Will the amnesty committee ensure that Christians are not merely tolerated in the north but are allowed to live abundant life as Muslims as Christians do in other parts of the country?”
In the most recent clash between the Army and Boko Haram, aid agencies report 187 people were killed after two days of fighting in the town of Baga near the border with Chad.