Yakubu Pam, executive secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), says rather than make requests through advocates, bandits should seek amnesty themselves.
Pam said this in an interview with journalists on Saturday in Kaduna, shortly after paying a condolence visit to Samuel Salifu, a former secretary general of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), over the death of his wife.
Ahmed Gumi, prominent Islamic cleric, and former President Olusegun Obasanjo had asked the government to rehabilitate bandits who are willing to surrender.
But Pam said bandits should be the ones asking for forgiveness if they feel remorseful.
“Those (bandits) who want amnesty should come out and show genuine repentance. Those who realised their mistake and feel remorseful about their actions should come out and seek for forgiveness, not the other way round,” NAN quoted him to have said.
“We should not be the ones advocating for amnesty for people who have wronged society. Let them come by themselves and ask for forgiveness.
“If they show up and the government, together with Nigerians, assess their request for forgiveness, then we can arrive at a decision.”
He also called on the government to take practical steps to tackle the security challenges in the country and engage citizens in finding solutions.
“We are appealing to the federal and state governments, as well as leaders at the grassroots, especially in the north, to stop assurance on media and take practical steps whereby citizens will be engaged in solving the problem of insecurity,” he said.
“Government must engage citizens in finding solutions to the problems. That is the only way we can come out of the problem.
“When we have information about who these bad people are, I think Nigeria will survive. We should be sincere in exposing the criminals; even if it is my son, let him face the wrath of the law.”