Members of the Northern Economic Summit have said there is no way the Federal Government will give amnesty to Boko Haram members in absentia.
They said members of the sect must be identified before they could be granted amnesty by the government.
The leader of the group, Prof. Jerry Gana, stated this at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
Gana, who was a former Minister of Information, was speaking on the forthcoming second Economic Summit for the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja tagged G.20.
The summit, with the theme, “Building Strategic Partnership for Peace and Economic Development,” is billed to hold in Kaduna in June.
Gana, who was flanked by other members of the group said, “Amnesty is possible; it can be given. But the members of the sect must come out of hiding and renounce violence.
“They must come out to discuss with the government. If this is done, government can be convinced to give amnesty. Amnesty cannot be given in absentia.
“Let there be genuine dialogue; let there be honesty between the group and the government. When this is done, we can achieve peace.”
He also said since security and welfare of the people remain the primary purpose of government, both the Federal and State Governments must pay greater attention to the resolution of security challenges facing the north.
Gana called on trustworthy elders from the region to initiate reliable contacts with leaders of militant groups in the region, with a view to achieving peace conference and negotiations with the government.
He said the emergence of authentic leaders would greatly facilitate meaningful dialogue towards the granting of amnesty and eventual peace.
According to him, “The offers being made for a peaceful resolution through dialogue and amnesty should be taken seriously by the government.
“However, for the proposed dialogue sessions to produce concrete results, trustworthy elders must take bold steps to bring both sides together.
“As was the case in the resolution of the Niger Delta crisis, we urge trustworthy elders to initiate reliable contacts with leaders of militant groups in the north with a view to achieving peace conference and negotiations with government.
“In the interest of generations yet unborn, the time for peace is now. So help us God.”
He also gave a progress report on actions taken by the Federal Government on economic development issues raised at the first Economic Summit, which was held in 2911 in Kaduna.
On Hydro-electric power projects at Zungeru and Manbila Plateau, Gana said government has already concluded the projects, which he said would be supported by NIPP/NDPHC programme.
Already, he said government has awarded the 700 megawatts Zungeru Hydro-Power Project at the cost of $1.2bn (N170bn), adding that the ground breaking ceremony would be performed in April.
While saying that the Kashimbila Dam has reached advanced stage of construction, he said the Gurara Phase 1 has been completed.
Gana also gave progress reports on the provision of substantial funds to facilitate exploration activities for oil and gas in the Chad Basin, Benue Trough, Bida Basin and Sokoto-Rima Basin.
He said government provided in 2011, $70m; another $70m in 2012 and had already provided $100m for the hydrocarbon exploration in the Lake Chad Basin and other Northern Hydrocarbon basins.