The directive given to security agencies by President Goodluck Jonathan to release Boko Haram-related detainees does not cover arrested insurgents, it has been explained.
Throwing light on yesterday’s statement by Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Chris Olukolade, which sparked an outcry across the country, sources close to Aso Rock, the Nigerian seat of power, a source said the presidential directive covers only those held in lieu of escaped Boko Haram members.
The source there was no way President Jonathan could have ordered the release of confirmed terrorists since that would negate the on-going war against terror which necessitated the imposition of emergency rule in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
Announcing the presidential directive, Brig.-Gen. Olukolade had disclosed the country’s Defence Headquarters would “be releasing from detention a number of persons being held in connection with terrorist activities.” He said the action was “consequent upon the directives of the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria” and that “the move is in furtherance of the Federal Government position in response to requests by the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Reconciliation.”
According to Olukolade, “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.”
He said details of the directives and those to benefit had been communicated to field units and the military Joint Task Force (JTF).
“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,” Olukolade said.
Source News Express