Thursday’s Senate began moves to set up an agency to rehabilitate, deradicalize and incorporate repentant insurgents into the country.
A resolution, sponsored by Yobe East senatorial district’s Ibrahim Gaidam, was first read on Senate floor Thursday.
The bill, already a target of intense pushback, gives more concessions to insurgents from Boko Haram who choose to cease fire.
Last month, the Nigerian military said that under its operation Safe Corridor in Malam-Sidi, Gombe State, no fewer than 608 repentant Boko Haram militants were undergoing the De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DRR) program.
Clients, the military euphemism for the repentant rebels, were said to have been subjected during their preparation to structured literacy courses, skill development and Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK), as well as to substance and psychotherapist.
Last year, a group of elders from Borno, led by ex-governor Kashim Shettima, had frowned at the plan, claiming that the military operation was not well thought out.
We believed it could be detrimental to release the allegedly repentant Boko Haram rebels into civilian population as hardened jihadists will return to the terror group to commit more atrocities.
“The continuing de-radicalisation and reintegration of repentant Boko Haram militants under the defense headquarters ” operation safe corridor’ is a subject of concern for leaders of the Civilian JTF and some State stakeholders,” the organization wrote in a letter last year.
“(We) believe that’ Boko Haram leaders do not apologize,’ so the de-radicalization initiative could be Boko Haram breeding spies and hiring agents,” they stated.
He advised the President to accept the programme’s suspension.
More Nigerians have also voiced opposition to the scheme.
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