With the planned inauguration of a 41-man peace committee today, the North is set to tackle the Boko Haram crisis.
Members of the Committee to be inaugurated by the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) are people with diverse backgrounds. They include traditional rulers, the clergy – Christian and Islamic – academics, retired military men, businessmen and former public officers.
Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu, who is also the chair of the forum, will, according to his Chief Press Secretary Danladi Ndayebo, inaugurate the committee in Abuja.
The panel has the mandate “to fashion out strategies to address the disturbing state of insecurity and proffer practical and enduring solutions” to the insecurity in the region.
“The main term of reference of the committee is to engender the restoration of the most desired peaceful co-existence, unity and development in the entire region,” according to the statement by Ndayebo.
The decision to form the committee was taken by the NGF on July 26. It is to handle reconciliation, healing, peace and security within the troubled region.
Thirty one members of the committee are nominees of the governors. The others are representatives of organisations in the region.
The traditional rulers on the panel include the Lamido of Adamawa, Dr. Barkindo Aliyu Musdafa, the Emir of Ilorin Alhaji Ibrahim Zulu Gambari, the Emir of Yauri, Zamfara State, Alhaji Zaiyanu Abdulahi and the Ngolong Nas, Plateau State Nde Joshua Y. Dimlong.
In the committee are the chair of the defunct Federal Government committee on North’s crisis, Sheik Ahmed Lemu and the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese of the Catholic Church, Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah.
There is also former Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Martin Luther Agwai, Wife of former Chief Justice of Nigeria Muhammadu Uwais, Hajiya Maryam and daughter of former Head of State Gen. Murtala Muhammed – Mrs. Aisha Oyebode, who is representing the Murtala Muhammed Foundation.
Former police chief Abubakar Tsav is the representative of Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam.
The North has been reeling under the violence unleashed by the fundamentalist group Boko Haram. No state has been spared of the assaults on persons and institutions by the sect members, who are campaigning against western education. Besides, they are clamouring for Sharia – the strict Islamic laws.
Bishop Kukah said last night that he will serve on the committee.
But he declined comments on its work yet until the terms of reference have been spelt out.
“The best person to talk to at this time is the convener, who is Governor Babangida Aliyu,” he said.