Northern govs seek expansion of Amnesty Committee

The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has lauded President Goodluck Jonathan for setting up a committee to consider proposals for granting amnesty to members of the Boko Haram sect, whose uprising has left thousands of people dead and property worth millions destroyed in the North since 2009.

Chairman of the forum and Governor of Niger State,Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, yesterday, said the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to dialogue with members of the sect  underscores the resolve of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government to restore peace in the region, saying a peaceful atmosphere would reinvigorate the region’s development.

Aliyu, who spoke through a statement in Abuja by his Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo, said: “Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) encourages President Jonathan in his effort to find a lasting solution to the Boko Haram crisis, with the hope that members of the sect would make themselves available for dialogue.”

The statement however called for the expansion of the committee’s membership to include critical stakeholders in the region whose input would facilitate quick resolution of the crisis.

“State Governors, traditional rulers, the clergy  – Christian and Islamic – academics, retired military men, businessmen and former public officers should form part of the current effort at fashioning out strategies to address the disturbing state of insecurity and  to proffer  practical and enduring solutions to the insecurity in the region,” the statement said.

The statement recalled that the NSGF last year inaugurated a 41-man peace committee headed by former Director General of the NIA, Ambassador Zakari Ibrahim whose membership cuts across people with diverse backgrounds. “Although the committee is yet to submit report of its findings, its interface with some stakeholders in the troubled states in the North East is responsible for the progress so far made,” the statement said.

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