Saturday, November 9, 2013

Boko Haram amnesty: Jonathan endorses Victims’ Support programme

Owing to his compassionate disposition and the need not to be
misunderstood, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has endorsed the
proposition regarding a VICTIMS' SUPPORT AGENCY, VSA, in the report
submitted last week by the committee on Boko Haram, Sunday Vanguard
can reveal authoritatively.
This is coming on the heels of what sources described as the perceived
misunderstanding of Mr. President's position on the worth of human
In fact, the President reportedly hinted at this possibility while
receiving the report from members of the committee.
Aso Rock Presidential Villa sources confided in Sunday Vanguard at the
weekend that "contrary to the misconception and misrepresentation that
President Jonathan has declined any form of compensation for the
victims of the Boko Haram insurgency, the true position is that Mr.
President went beyond the ordinary and is not wont to play to the
One of the sources went on: "The issue the President was relating to
when he made the statement on compensation and victims' support was
that you do not cheapen human life by placing monetary or any other
form of ephemeral value on it.
"The committee had suggested the creation of a Victims' Support
Agency, which is expected to engage a creative means of catering to
the needs of the victims of terror in such a way that life would be
more meaningful and more productive to them".
Sunday Vanguard was made to understand that following the controversy
that trailed media reports that President Jonathan declared that there
would be no compensation for terror victims, the President "could not
believe the reports".
Indeed, Aso Rock insiders explained that "President Jonathan wanted to
make a distinction between monetary compensation – which was the
expectation of many – and the need for rehabilitation of victims.
"The President believes that rehabilitating the victims using the
instrumentality of the VSA would serve a longer lasting purpose than
just denominating human lives or body parts that have been lost in
naira and kobo terms.
"It was this differentiation that was misconstrued to mean that there
would be no compensation. That is not President Jonathan's position.
There would be an institutionalized victims' support programme to aid
to assist victims of terror in the country".
The source also said "the report is being studied by Mr. President and
a white paper would soon be made public".

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