Friday, May 17, 2013

Boko Haram: We had a very frank and very fruitful meeting with Jonathan – Amnesty committee

Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North, Karibu Turaki has disclosed that President Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday, had a crucial meeting with members of the committee.

Turaki, said the meeting was at the instance of the committee which after speaking with different stakeholders and Boko Haram members, thought it fit to ask the President some questions on the position of the government concerning the ongoing events in the region.

According to him, “We feel that having interacted with most of the security agencies; we have come to the critical stage where we also need to hear what the government’s side is. That was what we came to discuss with Mr. President.”

Mr. Turaki referred to the committee’s meeting with the President as “very frank and very fruitful.”
“I can assure you and indeed Nigerians that the committee is more enriched to face the challenges that is ahead of us,” he said.

He noted that recent events in the nation have, nevertheless, “not derailed our resoluteness, resolution and desire and intention to make sure we get to the root of this problem.”
It would be recalled that the committee, had last week, visited and dialogued with some members of the Boko Haram who were being held at the Kuje Minimum prison in Abuja including Kabiru Sokoto, the alleged mastermind of the Christmas Day bombing in Niger State.

Turaki, who doubles as Minister of Special Duties, however, said that the committee was yet to meet with the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau.

The Minister further condemned the recent video released by Mr. Shekau showing women and children who are being held hostage, saying that this was not an indication that the group was disposed to settlement or dialogue.

Hear him, “the most fundamental thing is, from my own understanding, that the Jama’a people (Boko Haram) are not averse to dialogue and settlement of the dispute, sitting down to discuss.”

On the three-months time frame given to the 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, Mr. Turaki said what they have done so far was to lay the foundation to avoid any future disaster.

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