Tuesday 16 April 2013

National Security Council Meets Today, Boko Haram's Amnesty Tops Agenda

National Security Council Meets Today, Boko Haram’s Amnesty Tops Agenda


The National Security Council (NSC) will this morning meet to decide on the conditions and modalities for granting amnesty to the Boko Haram Islamic sect. the meeting which will be presided over by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is expected to also approve the membership and composition of the Ad-Hoc-Amnesty Committee.

It could be recalled that the Council met two weeks ago and set up a committee under the Chairmanship of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), to determine the feasibility or otherwise of the proposed amnesty for the Boko Haram Islamic sect.

The decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria to consider amnesty for the Boko Haram sect generated hot debate in the media. And media reports had emerged with the endorsement of the amnesty in a memo sent to the NSA’s office. When the leadership of the Boko Haram sect rejected the amnesty offer, the Military Service Chiefs again met with the President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on Friday, where it was decided that the process should continue despite its rejection.

Top security sources say that today’s meeting would deliberate on the amnesty, the conditions to be given and membership of the panel that would manage the process. According to one of the sources, “The Council is expected to discuss the report of the committee that was constituted two weeks ago to study and recommend the possibility or otherwise of amnesty for the terrorists that have been making life unbearable for people in some states in the north.”

He added that, “Unlike what transpired at the last meeting when there were some reservations over the issue, especially by the service chiefs, today’s meeting would deliberate on the conditions to be met by the repentant terrorists and constitute the committee that would be in charge of the task’’.

Meanwhile, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III is being considered to preside over the Boko Haram Ad-Hoc Amnesty Committee with the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Kukah as his deputy.

Other names likely to make the list include: Professor Ango Abdullahi, the Secretary of the Northern Elders’ Forum, and representatives of Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Kano, and Yobe States.

Last night, the Sultan had led some eminent northern traditional rulers to a closed-door meeting with President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan at the presidential villa.

Although the details of the meeting were still sketchy, sources said it was in connection with the ongoing efforts to ensure that the amnesty initiative remained on course.

Due to today’s National Security Council meeting, all the programmes lined up by the military such as the ongoing Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Week have been postponed.

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