Senators Must Reject ‘Repentant Boko Haram Bill’ – Sen Gyang
Senator Istifanus Gyang, who represents Plateau North and is the Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Defence, in the Senate has called on senators to reject a bill seeking to establish an agency for the rehabilitation and reintegration of ‘repentant’ Boko Haram terrorists and bandits in the country.
Sen Gyang, in a statement in Jos signed by his Special Assistant on Media and Protocol, Musa Ashoms, said that the bill, if passed, will promote insecurity in the country.
“The Bill is not only uncalled for but assaults the sensibility of Nigerians in view of the fact that most of the victims and communities affected by insurgency, banditry and violent attacks are still languishing from neglect and lack of the much-needed government attention and intervention despite repeated calls.
“I am calling on all Senators to reject the Bill given its obvious negative implications for the security of the nation. To do otherwise is to incentivize terrorism and put the nation in perpetual harm’s way,” Gyang’s statement read.
The senator disassociated himself from the bill seeking to establish an agency for the rehabilitation and reintegration of ‘repentant’ Boko Haram terrorists and bandits introduced for mention on first reading at the Senate and said senators will have the opportunity to debate the bill on second reading.
He argued that victim displaced from their homes and communities by insurgents and bandits are the ones to be rehabilitated and reintegrated, not the terrorists and bandits who are responsible for their plight.
He described as ironic a situation where care and attention for terrorist take precedence over their victims and said the bill is offensive to the good conscience of Nigerians.
“Attempts at certain quarters to compare and equate Boko Haram terrorist with the Niger Delta Agitators which attracted the Presidential Amnesty Initiative and Programme under the administration of President Yar’adua is ludicrous.
“The Presidential Amnesty Program was not a product of legislation but of government policy and has remained so. It was an intervention programme with a timeline and a terminal date, unlike the Pro Boko Haram Bill which intends to create an agency that will exist in perpetuity.”
The sentator said with the proposed legislation, terrorism will become a permanent feature in the country and the agency will become a terrorist breeding ground.
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