As part of its consultations with stakeholders in the country over the violence engineered by insurgents, the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North on Thursday met with Kabiru Sokoto, the suspect in the Christmas Day bombing in Madalla, Niger State, and 39 others at the Kuje Minimum Security Prison.
All the 25 members of the committee and their host, an Assistant Controller of Prisons, Nuhu Zuru, were present at the parley.
Chairman of the dialogue committee, Kabiru Turaki, told State House correspondents on the committee’s entourage after a three hour one-on-one meeting with the prisoners, alleged members of the Boko Haram, that the consultation was in line with its mission, which is to unearth more facts about the Jama’atul Ahlus Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram.
According to Mr. Turaki, who is also the Minister of Special Duties, the committee, which commenced work on Monday, has met with different arms of the security agencies in the country including the State Security Service, SSS; Nigeria Police Force, NPF; and Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA.
He explained that the committee had, on Tuesday, interacted with the ONSA and a day after had parleyed with the SSS and the police, adding that this had provided them with opportunity of getting access to some of their detention facilities.
It was observed that many of the sectarians, including a seriously ill one who had to be carried to the venue, were young men between the ages of 20 and 30. It was also noticed that some had seized the opportunity to go back to class inside the prison as they were seen clutching notebooks, textbooks and pens.
Although Mr. Turaki said the sectarians had given the committee cooperation, he did not disclose what was discussed but said they were seeking ways to have constructive dialogue with Nigerians across the board as he appealed for understanding and prayers in order for them to succeed.
He said, “As some of you may have noticed, we have had very useful discussions with some inmates that are being held here on the allegations of being either members of Jamatul Alhus Sunnah (Boko Haram) on accounts of terrorism or acts related thereto.
“We want to assure Nigerians that this committee is poised to make sure that we carry out this assignment with all sense of responsibility, with all honesty and with diligence.
“We have had cause, in the past, to speak to members of Jamatul Alhus Sunnah and in doing so to tell them that members of this committee are people of proven integrity, are accomplished Nigerians that have been carefully selected by Mr. President to come and do this national assignment.”
Mr. Turaki, while clarifying that the committee’s brief was not to secure or grant amnesty but to encourage dialogue among stakeholders, said the essence of the committee was not to get the group to cease fire alone but to attain total ceasefire.
“We do not have any grudges against anybody, do not harbour any ill feeling or prejudices against anybody. We have resolved and we have pledged and will continue to pledge that in carrying out this assignment, we will do it with the fear of God, high sense of patriotism and nationalism. We shall be guided by sense of decency and the feeling of trying to ensure that at the end of the day there is more peace in Nigeria.
“We are still looking for ways of having dialogue- constructive, honest and frank dialogue- with all major stakeholders across board. And so we will continue to solicit the support and cooperation of not only the people that are considered to be directly or indirectly involved in these issues, but other Nigerians,” he said.
Source: Hope for Nigeria