BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI – ABUJA
As the military offensive to dismantle Boko Haram terrorists activities and the camps in North East Nigeria continues, President Goodluck Jonathan has directed the release from Police, SSS and Military detention centers, of hundreds of persons held in connection with the insurgency.
The action of the President which took many Nigerians and security agencies by surprise is however interpreted by presidency sources as the ‘Carrot and Stick’ policy by the Commander in Chief to bringing an end to the Boko Haram debacle.
Vanguard gathered that the beneficiaries will cut across such states as Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi, Kano, `Kaduna, Gombe and Niger, though the exact number was not revealed.
The federal government however explained that the decision to order the release is sequel to the request of the Presidential Committee in Dialogue and Reconciliation set up to explore the possibility of amnesty for converted terrorists.
A statement to that effect signed by the Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Chris Olukolade said “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”.