American civil rights leader and Baptist minister, Rev. Jesse Jackson, has thrown his weight behind the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to offer amnesty to members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
Jackson, a two-time United States of American presidential candidate, also said Nigeria “is divided, not so much by religion, region and tribe but by greed.”
Speaking in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on Friday, Jackson, who was a guest speaker at a lecture organised by the state government as part of activities marking the 2013 edition of Isaac Boro memorial anniversary, said if properly handled, the amnesty programme would tackle insecurity in the country.
For the programme to work, he said all its terms and conditions must be honoured.
According to him, the amnesty must involve economic restitution and rebuilding of mosques and churches destroyed by the terrorists. He described such rehabilitation as a goodwill that would sustain coexistence in the country.
He said the state of emergency declared in three northern states should be as temporary as possible, advising Nigerians to abandon the battlefield and return to negotiation.
He said, “The amnesty must involve economic restitution, jobs and training. Within the United States,when there was civil unrest,there was a kind of state of emergency.
“But I hope the country will soon get back away from the battlefield and get to the negotiation table. In the end, it will be the bargaining table, not the battlefield, that wins victory.You cannot battle forever.