SENATE INTRODUCES BILL SEEKING AGENCY FOR REPENTANT BOKO HARAM MEMBERS
The Upper Chamber of the Nigerian National Assembly, on Thursday, introduced a bill seeking the establishment of an agency for repentant Boko Haram members.
The bill which was sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Gaidam, representing Yobe East Senatorial District and a former governor of Yobe State passed the first reading on Thursday. According to the Senator, the bill titled ‘’ National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalisation and Integration of repentant insurgents in Nigeria (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB. 340).’’ would ensure that repentant insurgents were fully integrated into society.
The main aims of the bill are to “provide avenue for rehabilitating, de-radicalising, educating and reintegrating the defectors, repentant and detained members of the insurgent group Boko Haram to make them useful members of the society.
“Provide avenue for reconciliation and promote national security. Provide an-open-door and encouragement for other members of the group who are still engaged in the insurgency to abandon the group, especially in the face of the military pressure.
“Give the government an opportunity to derive insider-information about the insurgent group for greater understanding of the group and its inner workings.
“Gain greater understanding of the insurgents will enable government to address the immediate concerns of violence and study the needs of de-radicalization effort to improve the process of de-radicalization.
“Help disintegrate the violent and poisonous ideology that the group spreads as the programme will enable some convicted or suspected terrorists to express remorse over their actions.
“Make them repent and recant their violent ideology and re-enter mainstream politics, religion and society.”
The bill is coming at a time when there are protests against the re-integration of repentant insurgents into the society.
Recall that the military established a rehabilitating centre in Gombe State for repentant Boko Haram terrorists.
The centre, it was reported, had trained and rehabilitated over 1,000 insurgents since its inception over three years ago.
The Borno State Government had also revealed that about 1,400 repentant Boko Haram suspects had been released by the military and rehabilitated into society.