The Nigerian Senate has introduced a bill for the establishment of an agency for the rehabilitation of repentant insurgents.
A bill to establish a national agency for education, rehabilitation, de-radicalization and integration of repentant insurgents in Nigeria passed first reading at the senate.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Gaidam on Thursday, February 20, 2020.
Introduction of the bill by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, attracted reactions from the lawmakers during plenary.
The bill, however, scaled first reading after it was put to a voice vote by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over plenary.
Last month, the Nigerian military had revealed that 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.
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.
“Boko Haram members do not repent” hence the de-radicalization programme may be breeding spies and agents of recruitment for the Boko Haram,” they had said.
They urged the president to approve the suspension of the programme.
More Nigerians have also spoken out against the policy.