Kenneth Udeh, Abuja
Amidst the divergent reactions, over the recent the release of 1,400 arrested Boko Haram members who were said to have been rehabilitated, the Senate is mulling the establishment of a national agency to accommodate repentant members of the Boko Haram sect.
The bill to that effect titled “National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalisation and integration of repentant insurgents in Nigeria (Est,etc) Bill 2020 (SB.340 ) scaled the first reading during on Thursdays plenary on the floor of the Senate.
The bill is being sponsored by the former governor of Yobe State, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe East).
Minutes after the leader of the Senate, Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North) mentioned the bill which was listed as item three under presentation of bills as contained in Thursday’s order paper, the clerk of the Senate, Nelson Ayewoh, read the short title of the bill while the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie-Omo Agege (Delta Central) who presided over the plenary ruled that the bill be submitted for further legislative actions.
Recall that mixed reactions greeted the recent pronouncement by the Federal Government that it intends to give amnesty to and rehabilitate more than 100 repentant insurgents.
Also recall that according to a recent revelation by the Borno State Commissioner for Information Babakura Jato, about 1,400 repentant Boko Haram suspects have been released in three tranches by the military and re-integrated into the society since the inception of its Operation Safe Corridor, the government’s de-radicalisation programme which commenced in 2016.