By Ndahi Marama, MAIDUGURI
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Borno State has decried non-inclusion in the just-concluded expanded stakeholders meeting on security situation in Borno State.
The PDP state Chairman, Alhaji Usman Mahdi Badairi made this known in a statement in Maiduguri on Tuesday.
Vanguard recalled that last Sunday, a security multi-stakeholder town hall meeting hosted by Governor Babagana Zulum in Maiduguri extensively discussed the pros, cons and implications of ongoing surrender by Boko Haram fighters.
The meeting came up with 16 resolutions which included demands that firearms are retrieved from all repentant insurgents, while profiling is made stringent in order “to avoid hasty release of hardened elements to the larger society”.
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It was attended by representative victims of Boko Haram attacks, national and state assembly members, all traditional rulers led by Shehu of Borno, Borno elders, heads of security agencies, Muslim and Christian leaders, members of the academic community, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, youth and women groups, the labour unions, civil society groups, local and international NGOs, and top government officials among others.
However, Alhaji Badairi explained that if invited, PDP would have contributed its quota at the meeting, which would greatly support in the improvement of the security situation.
The statement read in part: “The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Borno State has decried non-inclusion in the just-concluded expanded stakeholders meeting on security situation in Borno State.
“The North-East and Borno in particular, has suffered a lot throughout the more than decade-long insurgency, hence the need to include each and every sections and groups to take part in the meeting devoid of party affiliations.
“Our party is fully committed to the restoration of peace in Borno State and welfare of its citizens.
“While we commend the Military for their efforts at the ongoing fight against insurgency which resulted at the prevailing peace in Borno State, we also appeal to the Military to expedite the process of releasing all the detainee terrorists at Giwa Barracks and other military detention centres.
“This is because, if terrorists, who have been in the bushes of Sambisa Forests and other hideouts, can surrender, profiled and accepted, we see no reason why those detained or non-hardened ones at military facilities would not be released as well after screening.
“This would consolidate the peace process, coupled with mass surrender of Boko haram Insurgents.” Badairi stated.