Cardinal Onaiyekan Asks FG To Grant Amnesty To Boko Haram


Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, has asked the Federal Government to grant amnesty to repentant Boko Haram members.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, Onaiyekan, expressed gratitude to God for last Thursday’s release of 21 of the kidnapped girls.

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The cleric bemoaned continued blame being heaped on the Federal Government over the fate of the girls and urged Nigerians to pray for the safe return of the remaining female students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State.

He said the Boko Har­am sect has committed a huge crime against Nigeria and urged the media to continue to press home the evil associated with insurgency.

The archbishop appealed to the insurgents to repent and work for peace in Nigeria.

Cardinal Onaiyekan said that he supports the granting of amnesty to members of the sect who are ready to change because it will help Nigeria to move forward.

He said:

“We cannot forget the ones not accounted for. We are still waiting for their release.”

“We should accept and forgive the insurgents and offer them amnesty if they are ready to change.”

Meanwhile, Shi’ites from Iran are among the several religious leaders expected this week in Nigeria for the conference of world religious leaders.

This was disclosed at the press briefing in Abuja on Mon­day to herald the conference which commences on Tuesday.

The briefing was attended by Onaiyekan, Dr. William Vendly, the Secretary-General, Religions for Peace International and Al­haji Ibrahim Jega, the Execu­tive Secretary, Abuja National Mosque Management Board, who represented the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III.

The organizers said that it will be an inter-faith gathering on how people of different religions can work together.

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Onaiyekan said that the conference with theme: “Faith Works Africa – Partnership for Peace and Prosperity”, aims at bringing together religious communities for the interest of peace and development.

He said that more than 400 delegates are expected from all over the world.

Cardinal Onaiyekan revealed that 50 Nigerians, 25 from the Muslim and Christian faith have been selected as observers at the conference.