Engaging in constructive dialogue with key members of the Boko Haram sect remains a "major challenge" for the Presidential Committee on Amnesty, according to the Minister of Special Duties, Kabiru Turaki.
Turaki, Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North Chairman's, comments were made in Abuja, during a meeting with foreign diplomats in the country, and followed the two-month extension granted by President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday to the committee for bringing peace to the northern part of the country.
Although the committe was inaugurated in April, the insurgency in the north had continued -- even after the reported ceasefire agreement was reached with members of Boko Haram.
Turaki told members of the diplomatic corps that "this committee is focused, and, as far as our terms of reference are concerned, we have been able to achieve a lot."
He listed some of the committee's achievements: the release of women and children of alleged Boko Haram members, wrongly detained by security operatives, and building "confidence and trust" of some of the group's members.
He specifically noted that the ongoing dialogue with some critical members of the group would help the committee to establish a comprehensive and workable framework for resolving the insecurity in the country.
"We hope that very soon and within the timeframe the president gave us, this committee will be able to conclude the dialogue, as much as practicable.
"This will then enable the appropriate government agency to sign a ceasefire agreement that will see the end of this insurgency," he said.
The meeting with diplomats later went into a closed-door session.