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Soludo appoints Odinkalu, Bianca, Charly Boy, Onwuenu, others to address insecurity, agitations in Anambra


By Okechukwu Onuegbu

Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo, Wednesday, announced appointment of the former Chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu as Chairman of 15-member committee charged with responsibilities of addressing insecurity, violence and agitations in the State and South East generally.

The statement signed by Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, named the committee Truth, Justice and Peace Committee, added that it has six months to conclude its activities starting from when it would be inaugurated.

The members cut across the five South East States of Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States. Odinkalu, who is the Chairman is from Imo State, while the Secretary, Mrs Bianca Ojukwu, is from Enugu State by birth and married to Anambra State. Bianca, former Nigeria's Ambassador to Spain, is also the wife of late Biafra warlord, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, whose face and figure she's probably representing in the entire South East Nigeria.

Other members of the committee are the former Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr Joe Nwaorgu, from Imo State; Dr Udenta Udenta, Abia State and former Senior Research Fellow with the Centre for Igbo Studies; Dr Uju Agomoh, Abia State, and founder, Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA); and Rev. Fr (Msgnr) Jerome Madueke, Director of Communications and Catercis at the Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia (Anambra).

Others were Canon Dr. Okechukwu C. Obi-Okoye, from Enugu State (Enugu Diocese of Anglican Communion); Mr. Charles Oputa (Charly Boy) an entertainer from Imo State; Dr. John Otu, a former commissioner for information in Ebonyi State; Mr. Ngozi Odumuko, Founder/CEO of LEAD HERITAGE FOUNDATION, and Igbo think-Thank group, Nzuko Umunna;

Ms Onyeka Onwenu, also from Imo State; Dr. Joe Abah, a former director-general of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms; and two youth leaders from Anambra 

Mr. Chukwuma Okpalaezeukwu (of Ohanaeze Ndigbo youth) and Mr. Sam Egwuatu (National Youth Council of Nigeria); and UNIZIK DVC (Academics),  Prof. Joseph Ikechebelu.

"The purpose of the Committee on Truth, Justice, and Peace 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. Specifically, the Terms of Reference for the Committee are to identify the remote and immediate causes of the agitations, restiveness, violence, and armed struggle in the South East since 1999; and document victims/circumstances of death, brutality and incarceration.

"To 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; and make recommendations for sustainable peace and security in Anambra state/Southeast. The Committee shall be free to draw up the methodology to accomplish its assignment," the statement added. 

The statement also directed the committee to be reporting directly to the governor or his designee, with a promise to be provided with administrative support. 

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