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Include Northern Christians, ACF Leaders In Boko Haram Committee’

Written By Joseph Y. Musa on Saturday, May 11, 2013 | 5/11/2013 03:02:00 pm

To achieve the desired results from the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North, the Federal Government has been asked to review representation on the team.

The founder of Evangelical Ministries (Wisdom Chapel), Stephen Ogedengbe, said the team should consist of northern Christian leaders because they oversee the population frequently being attacked.
He said the team should also include leaders of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum for a successful persuasion, noting that Boko Haram members were mainly youths.
Amid insinuations that intensified attacks by the sect in the North might be demoralising for some committee members, Ogedengbe said he was surprised to see that the list of committee members did not include northern Christian leaders, who had embraced the amnesty idea.
“For instance, Rev. Matthew Kukah was in support of the move, among others but he was left out of the assignment. Such people are needed in this persuasive move to represent the people’s voice.
The same goes for the youth groups in the North.
“Youths know the way of youths, so we need some of these people on the team; they represent the population of Nigerians involved in the acts of violence. I recommend that the team representation be revisited to achieve results,” he said.
He expressed the hope that the persuasive efforts would yield good results, adding that Boko Haram religious extremists, who failed to appreciate the government’s efforts should be seen as terrorists.
“Extremists who may be unwilling to sheathe their swords should be tagged terrorists. The international community would reckon with the government’s resolution efforts,” he said.
Meanwhile, a public analyst and lawyer, Mr. Jiti Ogunye, said all Nigerians must assist the committee to achieve its goal by volunteering useful firsthand information.
Ogunye said not everyone could be listed on the committee, but that all must show an interest in getting the menace of violence and bombings behind the nation.
He advised the 26-member team to explore all useful ways to stem the violence in the country.
He said, “It is obvious that our security operatives appear overwhelmed. Those in the committee should realise that they have a lot of leg work to do. The committee members led by the chairman and Minister of Special Duties, Kabiru Turaki, must involve all relevant sections of the country to get the job done.
“The success or otherwise of the committee depends on all of us. It is either we tackle it collectively or we get consumed by the flames of Boko Haram insurgency. People should be ready to volunteer firsthand information that could help the committee in doing their work.”
It’s been two weeks since President Goodluck Jonathan inaugurated the committee to work out the details of a possible amnesty for members of Boko Haram, the militant Islamist sect.
But the amnesty body has not been able to make any contact with the sect leader, Imam Abubakar Shekau.
However, on Thursday, the committee, led by Turaki, met behind closed doors with some inmates of the Kuje Prisons, Abuja, suspected to be members of the violent.
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