By Izunna Okafor, Awka
The Secretary to the State Government in Anambra State, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu has told the newly-formed Truth, Justice, and Peace Committee in the state what the reasons behind their formation, as well as the tasks before them.
Prof. Chukwulobelu made this known while announcing the setting up of the Committee in Awka, the state’s capital, where he also reminded them that the state Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, had earlier promised to set up the committee with a view to enable the state government to interface with agitators, so as to allow peace to return in the state and South-east at large.
According to him, the Committee was set up following agitations which have led to killings and destructions of property in the state and the south-east region, citing the Monday sit-at-home restriction.
He said: “The purpose of the Committee on Truth, Justice, and Peace is to seek a restorative justice approach for truth-telling or real facts, for the healing of the victims of the violence, accounting for responsibility and accountability of the actors, conditional mercy for the repentant perpetrators, restitution for certain losses and rehabilitation of the perpetrators, for the overall aim of restoration of peace and justice as well as the promotion of development in the State, and the region/Nigeria.
“Given the cross-border nature of the conflict, the focus goes beyond Anambra, and possibly covers the entire Southeast.
“Specifically, the Terms of Reference for the Committee are: to identify the remote and immediate causes of the agitations, restiveness, violence, and armed struggle in the South East since 1999; document victims/circumstances of death, brutality and incarceration; identify stakeholders and groups who have played critical roles in the agitations and conflicts, their roles, capabilities and demands.”
Others, he noted, include “To address any other issue(s) that may be germane to unravelling the extent of the crisis and charting the roadmap for the future; make recommendations for sustainable peace and security in Anambra state/Southeast; the Committee shall have a direct reporting line to the Governor or his designee, and will be provided with administrative support. The Committee shall be free to draw up the methodology to accomplish its assignment.”
On the time, he said “The Committee shall conclude its work no later than 6 months from its inauguration, with its preliminary report due no later than 2 months after the sunset and the final report after 2 months of receiving feedback on the preliminary report from the government.
The Committee shall be inaugurated on a date to be communicated to its members.”
According to Prof. Chukwulobelu, the 15-man Committee, which has Prof. Chidi Odinkalu as its Chairman and Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu as its Secretary; also has Dr. Joe Nwaorgu, Dr. Udenta Udenta, Dr. Uju Agomoh, Rev. Fr. (Msgnr) Jerome Madueke, Canon Dr. Okechukwu C. Obi-Okoye, Mr. Charles Oputa (Charly Boy), Dr. John Otu, Mr. Ngozi Odumuko, Ms Onyeka Onwenu, Dr. Joe Abah, Mr. Chukwuma Okpalaezeukwu, Mr. Sam Egwuatu and Prof. Joseph Ikechebelu.