By HENRY UMORU
ABUJA — THE Presidency, yesterday, disclosed that the order directing the release from Police, DSS and military detention centres of Boko Haram suspects detained in connection with the security challenge, would be carried out in phases.
According to the Presidency, the first batch would lay emphasis on women and children who have been in detention on suspicion of involvement and/or connection with insurgency in some parts of the country.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, the Presidency explained that the first phase would be followed by other phased releases where cases would be treated on their individual merits by the defence authorities and security agencies.
Okupe said, “It has become necessary to make further clarifications on the directive for the release of some people held in connection with activities of the Boko Haram sect, in view of misrepresentations in some sections of the media.
“The order for the release of the detainees would be in phases. Concerning the first batch, the emphasis is on women and children who have been in detention on suspicion of involvement and/or connection with insurgency in some parts of the country.
“This would be followed by other phased releases where cases would be treated on their individual merits by the defence authorities and security agencies.
“The presidential directive was as a result of the interim report by the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peace in Northern Nigeria which recommended the measure as part of government’s multi-faceted strategy towards solving the security challenges posed by activities of the sect.
“This directive by Mr President further proves that the Federal Government has not foreclosed dialogue as a viable option in its bid to put an end to insurgency and terrorist activities in the Northern part of the country.
“It is expected that this phased release of detainees will encourage those who wish to embrace the peace option to come out and take advantage of the dialogue and peace option provided by the committee put in place by government.”