• Sunday, May 26, 2024
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Boko Haram: Jonathan raises 26-member amnesty implementation committee


President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday constituted a presidential committee to constructively engage key members of Boko Haram sect and to define comprehensive and workable framework for resolving insecurity in the country.

This is sequel to the meeting with top officials of the National Security Council on Wednesday which submitted the report of the technical committee set up by President Jonathan to review fresh modalities for addressing security challenges in the North.

Two committees approved by the president on Wednesday include the Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North and the Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

The special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Reuben Abati, disclosed this to State House correspondents at a press briefing at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, the 26-member amnesty committee will be chaired by the minister of special duties, Tanimu Turaki, while a representative of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation will serve as secretary.

Other members are Ahmed Lemu, Hakeem Baba Ahmed, Col. Musa Shehu (rtd.), Abubakar Tureta, Datti Ahmed and Abubakar Sodangi.

Also in the committee are Ahmed Makarfi, Mohammed Matawalle, Zakari Ibrahim, Shehu Sani, Naja’atu Mohammed, Adamu Ladan, Joseph Golwa, AVM. A.I. Shehu and R.I Nkemdirim.

Other members are DIG P. I. Leha, Nura Alkali, Salihu Abubakar, Abubakar Sani Lugga, Ibrahim Tahir, Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Sab, Baba Ahmed Jidda, Grp.-Capt. Bilal Bulama (rtd.) and Bolaji Akinyemi.

He listed the committee’s terms of reference to include: developing a framework for the granting of amnesty and setting up of a framework through which disarmament could take place within a 60-day time frame.

Abati said the committee would also develop a comprehensive victims’ support programme, and mechanisms to address the underlying causes of insurgencies that will help to prevent future occurrences.

It would be recalled that the idea of an amnesty, discussed in some corners by some northerners, came to a head in March when the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, called for it. While the Sultan did not speak in specifics, others have suggested offering an amnesty deal in line with one previously given to former Niger Delta militants in 2009. That deal offered cash payments and job training to ex-militants in return for them giving up their weapons and halting attacks on oil installations.

Boko Haram is blamed for killing at least 792 people last year alone, according to an Associated Press count. So far this year, violence by Islamic extremists has killed at least 174 people, according to an AP count.

Abati said the president also constituted a Federal Government committee on the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

The constitution of the second committee, according to Abati, is in keeping with Nigeria’s pledge to work with the UN and other countries to stem “the worrisome proliferation of small arms and light weapons”.

“The president said the use of such weapons was creating insecurity and instability in Nigeria and other developing nations”.

The 17-member Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons is chaired by Emmanuel Imohe, while the director, department of international organisation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will serve as secretary.

Other members are the permanent secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Martin Uhomoibhi; T.D. Hart, Ghali Umar, M.G. Wakil and Opelusi Olureti.

Others are a representative each from the Ministry of Interior, Office of the National Security Adviser, Office of the Director General, State Security Services (SSS) and the National Intelligence Agency.