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Amnesty: Jonathan replaces Sani, Datti with female lawyer

By The Citizen

President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the inclusion of Mrs. Aisha Wakil as a member of the Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, stated this in a statement on Tuesday.

The 26-man committee charged with identifying and engaging key leaders of Boko Haram sect and developing a workable framework for amnesty and disarmament of members of the group has Kabiru Turaki as its chairman.

Two members, Datti Ahmed and Shehu Sani, had rejected their nomination to serve on the committee.

Abati, in the statement, added that the inauguration of the committee and the Committee on Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons initially scheduled for 10am on Wednesday would now hold by 9am.

He, however, said the inauguration would still take place at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa.

He urged members of the committees to be seated by 8.30am in readiness for the prompt commencement of the inauguration.

The presidential aide also advised members of the committees, who reside outside the Federal Capital Territory, to arrive in Abuja on Tuesday ahead of the inauguration.

On arrival in Abuja, Abati urged them to contact the Permanent Secretary, Special Services, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mrs. Esther Gonda, for further information and logistics support.

Abati on Monday said the Federal Government had not foreclosed the option of increasing the membership of the committee while featuring on an African Independent Television's programme, Kakaaki.

He was reacting to claims by Sani that the he was rejecting the offer because government did not include some individuals that could be helpful in the committee.

Abati had said the government would not hesitate to co-opt any individual found to be useful to the quest to end the orgy of violence unleashed by members of the sect.

He said, 'My expectation is that this committee would have very robust interactions and if the need arises for government to still co-opt people as Shehu Sani has suggested, it will not hesitate to do so.'