Bill to create agency for repentant Boko Haram terrorists introduced in Senate

Bill to create agency for repentant Boko Haram terrorists introduced in Senate

The Nigerian Senate has heard a bill calling for the creation of an agency to deradicalise and reintegrate repentant Boko Haram terrorists into the co

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The Nigerian Senate has heard a bill calling for the creation of an agency to deradicalise and reintegrate repentant Boko Haram terrorists into the country. The bill sponsored by Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe East Senatorial District, was read for the first time on the floor of the Senate on Thursday.

Already a subject of fierce push back, the bill offers further concession to Boko Haram militants who choose to cease fire. Last month, the Nigerian military said no fewer than 608 repentant Boko Haram insurgents were undergoing the De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DRR) programme under its Operation Safe Corridor in Malam-Sidi, Gombe State.

Clients, the military euphemism for the repentant insurgents, were said to have been exposed to formal literacy classes, skills acquisition and Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK) as well as drug and psycho-therapists during their training.

A group of Borno elders, led by ex-governor Kashim Shettima, last year, had frowned at the initiative saying the military’s operation was not well thought out. They feared that releasing the purported repentant Boko Haram militants into civilian population could be counterproductive as hardened fighters would return to the terror group to commit more atrocities. They urged the president to approve the suspension of the programme.

More Nigerians have also spoken out against the policy.