The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, has urged true reconciliation for a lasting solution to the insurgency crisis in the Northeast.
The Executive Secretary of the commission, Chief Tony Ojukwu, made the call on Tuesday in Maiduguri at the second meeting of the Borno State Project Advisory Committee, SPAC, on promoting reconciliation, reintegration, and transitional justice.
Mr Ojukwu said a lot of damage had been done in communities of affected states in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe where the commission was engaged in promoting reconciliation, reintegration and transitional justice funded by the European Union, EU, and United Nations Development Programme, UNDP.
He said the project had begun to lay a foundation for a sustainable, peaceful and developed society where consideration would be given to the victims and the communities, not undermining the necessity for justice with regard to the perpetrators.
He noted that the road to a reconciliation was long tough and rough, adding that it was only through true reconciliation that progress could be made.
“Therefore, we need to have a sense of justice and restitution, this may not come in terms of cash, but our readiness to put the wounds and pains behind us, in the interest of the nation and a great future is very important for our society.
“The Commission welcomes the acceptance of members of the SPAC to work on this project, the committee is an important mechanism through which the commission intends to accelerate the achievement of the Transitional Justice Project and promote accountability to the Project’s objectives and outcomes.”
The Borno Chairman of SPAC who is also the state Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice, Hussaini Izge, assured the citizens of the commitment of the government to the project.
“There are indications that we are exiting the horrific situation, the closure of some camps in Maiduguri is a signal that the peace that we are praying for is gradually returning.
“With the composition of the SPAC, we will cooperate and use our individual and collective expertise to assist the commission to ensure that this project is implemented to the later,” Mr Izge said.
The UNDP Security Analyst, Usman Usman, observed that transitional justice remained key to peacebuilding, particularly now that government was recording maximum exit of persons from the Boko Haram Sect.
Project Coordinator Hillary Ogbonna gave a rundown of the achievements of the project, including Capacity building for Media on Reconciliation and Transitional Justice, Development of a framework for Transitional Justice and Reconciliation.
Other achievements were in Harnessing Community Information and Data for Transitional Justice, Communication and Advocacy to Promote Transitional Justice and Reconciliation.