Presidential committee dialogues with 104 Boko Haram suspects in Lagos prisons – Minister

Boko Haram members

The committee said it is making headway in its tasks.

Despite proscribing them and officially declaring them terrorists, the Federal Government on Thursday began dialogue with the 104 Boko Haram suspects being detained in Lagos prisons.

The federal government had explained that neither the proscription of the group, nor the state of emergency declared in three north eastern states would stop its negotiations for peace with the terrorists.

The Minister of Special Duties, Kabiru Tanimu, and Chairman, Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North, led the committee members to the meeting.

Mr. Tanimu told newsmen after the meeting that the visit was aimed at interacting with the suspects and chart a new way forward.

“We came here basically to have interaction with people detained in connection with acts relating to terrorism. We have interacted and spoken to them and they responded very sincerely and frankly, and I think I can say that we were well informed about most of the things they were interested in.

“For now, we are more concerned with the release of vulnerable people and those not pinned down by the security agencies,” he said.

The minister said his committee had seen those the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPR) advised for release.

“We have not seen any woman or child here, but even at that, I am sure the committee will make appropriate recommendations as far as the issue of their release is concerned.

“We have interacted with stakeholders. We have been informed and we have been given advices that will help in making our recommendation to government.

“I can assure you that the committee is on top of the situation as far as dialogue is concerned. We have no serious challenges at the moment.”

Some Nigerians including the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria had questioned the continued existence of the government’s negotiation committee after the president’s declaration of a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states. A PREMIUM TIMES poll had also shown that majority of Nigerians reject amnesty for the group, preferring that every individual should be punished for the crimes committed b them.

(NAN)


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