The committees on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North and on Proliferation of Small Arms and Light weapons were inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday. The inauguration which took place at the Council Chambers of the State House, is a move towards finding a lasting solution to the crisis rocking the northern part of the country via the consideration of amnesty for members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect.
The committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North has been given a period of 90 days to work and submit a report to the Presidency. While telling members of the committee that Nigerians expect so much from them, the President said “all Nigerians are expecting this committee to perform magic and we pray that Allah should give you the wisdom to do so, because without peace we can’t develop no matter how committed we are. Without peace we cannot progress as a nation.”
He also asked the committee to establish links and commence dialogue with members of the Boko Haram sect. The committee was also saddled with the responsibility of developing the framework through which disarmament will be pursued. “They are to work out a sustainable option that will lead to the granting of amnesty. They also have to develop a comprehensive victim support programme, because a number of people are victims of the excesses of the Boko Haram. And as we try to address the issue of the Boko Haram, we must also comprehensively address the issues directly affecting the people.
They must also come up with suggestions on how to address the underlying causes of the crisis, to ensure that as a nation we don’t face similar threats in the future”, the President said.
The President also spoke on the destruction at Baga in Borno State and he urged the Joint Task Force that in the discharge of their duties, they should exercise caution in order not to harm innocent people.
The President was full of appreciation to members who agreed to serve on the committees despite not being contacted before their names were announced. “I sincerely appreciate those of you who have accepted to serve. In some cases, people raise issues but most of you were not even consulted but of course most of you are aware of the challenges we have as a nation.
When your names were mentioned, you agreed to play your part to stabilize our country and bring peace and development to the country. On behalf of the government, I thank all of you for accepting to serve”, the President said.
The President also pointed out that the committee on Light Arms and Small weapons was constituted to ensure that various security challenges relating to the proliferation of small arms and light weapons especially smuggling through Nigeria’s borders are quickly addressed
In his response, the Chairman of the Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, who is also the Minister for Special Duties assured the President that members would bring everything they have, including their experience, education and professionalism to bear in the discharge of the committee’s duties.
His counterpart in the Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons, Ambassador Emmanuel Imohe, too assured the President that the members would put in their best. “The committee will neither fail you nor fail the nation in the discharge of this onerous obligation”, he said.