Jonathan Orders Release Of Some Persons Detained Over Terror As Amnesty For BH Begins

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SAN FRANCISCO, May 21, (THEWILL) – President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the military to release some categories of detainees held in connection with terrorist activities in Nigeria.

A statement issued by the Defence Spokesman, Brigadier General Chris Olukolade, announced the President’s directive saying, it is in “furtherance of the Federal Government's position in response to requests by the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Reconciliation.”

THEWILL gathered that the beneficiaries of the gesture, which the Ministry of Defence said has been communicated to commanders in the field, includes women and under aged boys.

The Ministry of Defence maintained that those to be released are wives, sisters, brothers and relatives of fleeing terror suspects, insisting that no person with direct link to terrorism would be released under the President's current directive.

The Defence spokesman said the detainees would be transferred to State Governors of their respective states who would further rehabilitate them before the suspects are released to their respective community leaders/relations.

The statement reads, “Consequent upon the directives of the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, the Defence Headquarters will be releasing from detention a number of persons being held in connection with terrorist activities.

“The move is in furtherance of the Federal Government position in response to requests by the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Reconciliation. The measure which is in line with Presidential magnanimity to enhance peace efforts in the country will result in freedom for suspects including all women under custody.

“The details of the directives and those to benefit from this gesture have been communicated to field units and the Joint Task Force.

“The beneficiaries will be released to the state governors who will be involved in further rehabilitation before these suspects are released to their respective community leaders/relations.

“As the operation to rid our country of terrorist activities continues, the Defence Headquarters wishes to reassure Nigerians that the Nigerian military is quite capable and ready to discharge this duty professionally and creditably well.

“The report therefore in a section of the press that Nigerian troops are to be withdrawn from Mali to face the ongoing insurgency is a complete falsehood.

“There is certainly no need for such action now as the human and material resources of the Armed Forces of Nigeria are being meticulously deployed and quite able to meet its present internal and external assignments.

“As a matter of fact the normal and scheduled rotation of troops in various missions will continue.

“This routine should not be misunderstood or misrepresented to misinform Nigerians and the international community.”