President Goodluck Jonathan will this morning preside over a meeting of the Security Council to decide on the conditions for granting amnesty to Boko Haram and the membership of the ad-hoc amnesty committee.
The Council had met two weeks ago and set up a committee under the chairmanship of the national security adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), to determine the feasibility or otherwise of the proposed amnesty for the Boko Haram sect.
Last week, media reports had emerged of the endorsement of the amnesty in a memo sent to the NSA’s office and, when the leadership of the sect rejected the offer, the service chiefs again met with the president on Friday where it was decided that the process should continue irrespective of its rejection.
Security sources say that today’s meeting would deliberate on the amnesty, the conditions to be given and membership of the panel that would manage the process.
One of the sources said, “The Council is expected to discuss the report of the committee that was constituted two weeks ago to study and recommend the possibility or otherwise of amnesty for the terrorists that have been making life unbearable for people in some states in the north.”
He further explained, “Unlike what transpired at the last meeting when there were some reservations over the issue, especially by the service chiefs, today’s meeting would deliberate on the conditions to be met by the repentant terrorists and constitute the committee that would be in charge of the task’’.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III is being tipped asked to preside over it with the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Kukah as his deputy.
Other names likely to make the list include Professor Ango Abdullahi, the Secretary of the Northern Elders’ Forum, and representatives of Borno, Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna and Yobe States.
As a result of the meeting, all the programmes lined up by the military such as the ongoing Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Week have been postponed.
The Sultan had last night led some eminent northern traditional rulers to a closed-door meeting with President Jonathan at the presidential villa.
Although the details of the meeting were still sketchy as at 11pm, sources said it was in connection with the ongoing efforts to ensure that the amnesty initiative remained on course.