The federal government on Wednesday took another leap towards the proposed amnesty programme for members of Boko Haram with the establishment of two major committees that have been mandated to engage the sect.
The step by the Federal Government might have started producing positive results as the Shura Council of the Islamic sect, which is said to have caused the deaths of some 4,000 people since 2009 when it stated its violent attacks, is said to be reviewing its rejection of the amnesty proposal.
Sources close to the sect revealed that the council plans to meet on Saturday to consider the federal government’s gesture. This move by the sect is coming after the call to governors of states that are home to the sect to “do the right thing expected of them” by disarming its members to give the way for the successful implementation of the planned amnesty programme.
The first committee, named ‘Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North’ and made up of 26 members, is headed by the Minister of Special Duties, Kabiru Turaki, while a representative of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation has been designated its secretary. The body is charged with the responsibility of seeking ways to end the Boko Haram insurgency.
The second, tagged “Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons” was saddled with the responsibility of curtailing the propagation of small arms and light weapons, and their use in creating insecurity and instability in Nigeria and other developing nations.
Both committees were set up barely 24 hours after the National Security Council (NSC) had a meting with President Goodluck Jonathan to mull over the report of the technical committee that the federal government set up to review fresh modalities for addressing security challenges in the north. The formation of the committees was the outcome of various meetings and consultations the presidency had had in the last couple of weeks with a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the country, the latest of which is the parley he held on Monday and Tuesday with the Northern Traditional Rulers Council (NTRC) and the service chiefs respectively.