Sources close to Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, one of President Goodluck Jonathan’s nominees for the proposed amnesty committee for Boko Haram, have confirmed that the nominee is under pressure to decline to serve because of suspected Federal Government insincerity. Baba-Ahmed is a retired Federal Permanent Secretary and a former secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Hakeem Baba-Ahmed’s brother, Alhaji Nafiu Baba-Ahmed, is the secretary to the Dr. Datti Ahmad-led Supreme Council for Sharia’ah in Nigeria. According to the sources, Nafiu had been involved with the issue of dialogue with Boko Haram with Dr. Datti before it failed, and he pointed out that they largely blamed it on Alhaji Hassan Tukur, Principal Private Secretary to President Goodluck Jonathan. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed is therefore being pressurized to shun the committee in order to save his life and integrity.
Another source in Kano confirmed that fear of a Boko Haram killer squad has gripped some people named on the presidential amnesty committee because of the sect’s strongly-worded warning convey to some individuals they respect to warn the nominees to stay off any mediation talks.
He said: “Shehu Sani and Datti refused because, they know that it will not work. Where will the committee meet Boko Haram sect? I swear, no single person mentioned in the committee ever met a Boko Haram member in person, the first and second moves through Datti were via a journalist who happened to have known Mohammed Yusuf. Even he, Datti, never met any sect member. So how do you reach someone you don’t know or are you just satisfied with getting money and death attached?”
Already, Ibrahim Datti Ahmed, the President of the Supreme Council of Sharia in Nigeria, and Shehu Sanni, president of the Civil Rights Congress, based in Kaduna, have pulled out. At least one nominee, Sanni, has claimed he was not even contacted before his nomination was announced.