Boko Haram: President Jonathan Names Amnesty Committee

By Akin Akande, Abuja

Determined to permanently resolve the security challenges confronting the country in earnest, President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the constitution of two Presidential Committees on the granting of amnesty and disarmament.

According Dr. Reuben Abati,  Special Media Adviser to the President, the decision to set up the committees was sequel to the consideration of the report of the technical committee set up  two weeks ago by the National Security Council to review fresh modalities for addressing security challenges in the north.

The committee on amnesty will be headed by the Minister for Special Duties, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki while the one on disarmament is chaired by Ambassador Emmanuel Imohe.

“President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the constitution of a 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.

“The Committee’s terms of reference will 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.

“President Jonathan has also approved the constitution of a Federal Government committee on the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in keeping with his pledge that Nigeria will 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,” Abati announced on Wednesday.

Members of the committee on amnesty dubbed Committee on dialogue and peaceful resolution of security challenges in the north are: Sheik Ahmed Lemu, Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed, Col. Musa Shehu, (rtd.), Sheik Abubakar, Senator Sodangi Abubakar, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Hon. Mohammed Bello Matawalle  and Amb. Zakari Ibrahim .

Others are: Comrade Shehu Sani,  Haji ya Naja’atu Mohammed, Malam  Adamu S. Ladan, Dr. Joseph Golwa, Mr. R. I. Nkemdirim, DIG P. I. leha,  Malam Salihu Abubakar, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Lugga, Barrister Ibrahim Tahir, Brig-Gen. Ibrahim Sabo, Amb. Baba Ahmed Jidda , Group Capt. Bilal Bulama,Rtd, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi  and the representative of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation who will serve as  Secretary.

On the Committee on small arms and light weapons are Ambassadors Martin I. Uhomoibhi, T. D Hart, Ghali Umar and B.G. Wakil. Others are: Mr. Opelusi Olureti, representatives of  the ministries of  Interior, defence, justice, and offices of the National Security Advuser (NSA),         DG (SSS), NIA, DIA, Nigeria Police, Customs, SGF while the director, International Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will serve as Secretray.                         –
The two committees will be formally inaugurated by President Jonathan on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.
The Post reports  that the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, had recently called on the federal government to consider granting amnesty to all armed groups across the country.