A bill seeking the establishment of an agency for repentant members of the Boko Haram terrorist group has been introduced in the Senate.
It aims to create a national agency that would see to the rehabilitation, de-radicalisation, and integration of repentant insurgents in the country.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Gaidam during plenary on Thursday at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.
It is captioned ‘National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalisation and Integration of repentant insurgents in Nigeria (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB. 340)’.
The bill was read for the first time in the red chamber, along with others sponsored by some senators in the chamber.
They include Federal Polytechnic Maiduguri (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB. 338) by Senator Kashim Shettima, 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 274) by Senator Solomon Adeola, and Metallurgy Training Institute Orumba (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB. 338) by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.
The sponsor of the bill, Senator Gaidam, is the lawmaker representing Yobe East District in the Senate.
He is also the immediate past governor of Yobe, one of the worst-hit states by insurgents in the north-eastern part of the country.
Other states that have suffered attacks the most in the heat of the insurgency, according to reports, are Borno and Adamawa States.
One of the worst attacks by the insurgents in Yobe, although by a factional Boko Haram group – Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), was the incident in Dapchi.
The insurgents invaded the Government Girls Secondary School in Dapchi on February 19, 2018, where they abducted over 100 schoolgirls.
Weeks later, the girls returned to their families except Leah Sharibu, who was held back by the insurgents for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.
Amid various calls for her release and the government’s efforts towards ensuring that Leah regains her freedom, she marked two years on Wednesday in the custody of the insurgents.