Jonathan inaugurates committee to dialogue with Boko Haram

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President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday inaugurated a presidential committee charged with dialoguing with the Boko Haram Islamist sect, despite reports that the leadership of the sect turned down the offer of amnesty extended to them by the Federal Government.

The committee is made up of 26 members, headed by the Minister for Special Duties, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, according to a statement made by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati.

Other members of the committee are: Sheik Ahmed Lemu, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, Col. Musa Shehu, (rtd.), Sheik Abubakar Tureta, Dr.Datti Ahmed, Senator Sodangi Abubakar, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Hon. Mohammed Bello Matawalle,  Amb. Zakari Ibrahim, Comrade Shehu Sani, Hajiya Naja’atu Mohammed, Malam  Adamu S. Ladan, Dr. Joseph Golwa. AVM A. I. Shehu, Mr. R. I. Nkemdirim, DIG P. I. Leha, Prof. Nur Alkali, Malam Salihu Abubakar, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Lugga, Barrister Ibrahim Tahir, Brig-Gen. Ibrahim Sabo, Amb. Baba Ahmed Jidda, Group Capt. Bilal Bulama, (rtd) and Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi.  A Representative of the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (OSGF) is to act as Secretary.

Abati said that President Jonathan approved the constitution of the Presidential Committee to constructively engage key members of Boko Haram and define a comprehensive and workable framework for resolving the crisis of insecurity in the country.

Its terms of reference include “developing a framework for the granting of amnesty; setting up of a framework through which disarmament could take place within a 60-day time frame; the development of a comprehensive victims’ support programme, and the development of mechanisms to address the underlying causes of insurgencies that will help to prevent future occurrences.”

The setting up of the committee comes just after the National Security Council met on Tuesday and considered the report of the technical committee it had set up earlier to review fresh modalities for addressing the insecurity in the North.

Abati also announced the constitution of a Federal Government committee on the proliferation of small arms and light weapon, in line with the President’s pledge that Nigeria would work with the United Nations and other countries to stem the worrisome proliferation of small arms and light weapons, and their use in creating insecurity and instability in Nigeria and other developing nations.

The committee is headed by Ambassador Emmanuel Imohe withAmb.  Martin I. Uhomoibhi, Amb.  T. D. Hart, Amb. Ghali Umar, Amb. B.G. Wakil, Mr. Opelusi Olureti, Representative of Ministry of Interior, Representative of NSA, Representative of DG (SSS), Representative of NIA, and a Representative of Federal Ministry of Justice.

Others are representative of Ministry of Defence, Representative of DIA, Representative of the Nigeria Police, Representative of the Nigerian Customs Service, Representative of OSGF, and the Director, International Organisations Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) will act as Secretary.

The formal inauguration of both committees will be Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, at 10am by President Jonathan.

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