Anambra State Government on Wednesday announced the setting up of a Truth, Justice and Peace Committee, to interrogate the insecurity in the state and craft a comprehensive and credible roadmap to the future.
The Committee will have Professor Chidi Odinkalu as Chairman and the wife of late Biafran Warlord, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu as Secretary.
Other members include Dr. Joe Nwaorgu, Dr. Udenta Udenta, Dr. Uju Agomoh, Rev. Fr (Msgnr) Jerome Madueke, Canon Dr. Okechukwu C. Obi-Okoye, Mr. Charles Oputa (Charly Boy), Dr. John Out, Mr. Ngozi Odumuko, Ms Onyeka Onwenu, Dr. Joe Abah, Mr. Chukwuma Okpalaezeukwu, Mr. Sam Egwuatu, and Prof. Joseph Ikechebelu.
Anambra, a key state in the Southeast and Nigeria, has suffered heavily from the unrelenting conflict that followed the arrest and detention of the leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the subsequent issuance of a Sit-at-Home order every Monday throughout the Southeast.
The brutal enforcement of the order has caused numerous deaths and incalculable damage to the economy of the Southeast.
Announcing the set-up of the committee on Wednesday, the Secretary to Anambra State Government, Prof Solo Chukwulobelu noted that Anambra state, and indeed, the Southeast have huge potentials to leapfrog into an axis of prosperity, but the current crisis poses a near existential challenge which must be tackled with every means possible.
Regretting that there has been no systematic platform or framework to engage the various stakeholders with a view to understanding the causes and dynamics of the conflict, the SSG revealed that thousands of innocent persons have died, been injured or dispossessed but these have been largely treated as mere statistics.
According to him, it is the state government’s view that the current situation goes beyond a law enforcement problem and to get to the root of the problem and craft a comprehensive and credible roadmap to the future, it has decided to constitute the Truth, Justice And Peace Committee.
Speaking on the purpose and terms of reference of the Committee, the Anambra SSG said the Committee is to seek a restorative justice approach for truth-telling or real facts, for the healing of the victims of the violence, accounting for responsibility and accountability of the actors, conditional mercy for the repentant perpetrators, restitution for certain losses and rehabilitation of the perpetrators, for the overall aim of restoration of peace and justice as well as the promotion of development in the State, and the region/Nigeria.
“Given the cross-border nature of the conflict, the focus goes beyond Anambra, and possibly covers the entire Southeast.
“The committee will help-
“Identify the remote and immediate causes of the agitations, restiveness, violence, and armed struggle in the South East since 1999.
“Document victims/circumstances of death, brutality and incarceration.
“Identify stakeholders and groups who have played critical roles in the agitations and conflicts, their roles, capabilities and demands.
“Address any other issue(s) that may be germane to unravelling the extent of the crisis and charting the roadmap for the future.
“Make recommendations for sustainable peace and security in Anambra state/Southeast,” he said.
Chukwulobelu stressed that the Committee shall have a direct reporting line to the Governor or his designee, and will be provided with administrative support, as well as be free to draw up the methodology to accomplish its assignment.
The government maintained that the Committee shall conclude its work no later than 6 months from its inauguration, with its preliminary report due no later than 2 months after the sunset and the final report after 2 months of receiving feedback on the preliminary report from the government.