The Presidency has debunked reports that the Federal Government has ordered the release of all Boko Haram insurgent in custody.
Presidential spokesman, Dr Doyin Okupe who made the clarification on Wednesday in Abuja, maintained that the directive was to release all women and children held in lieu of some insurgents currently at large.
The move, he said, is sequel to the recommendation of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Reconciliation.
On the fate of the insurgents in custody, Dr Okupe said anyone found culpable would be prosecuted.
Below is the full text of his statement:
CLARIFICATION ON PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE ON THE RELEASE OF BOKO HARAM DETAINEES
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 will 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 will be followed by other phased releases where cases will 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 to solving the security challenges posed by the 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 toinsurgency 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.
Dr Doyin Okupe