“The agency when established will help rehabilitate and reintegrate the defectors, repentant and forcefully conscripted members of the insurgent group Boko Haram to make them useful members of the society and provide an avenue for reconciliation and promote national security,”
Ibrahim Gaidam The sponsor of the bill that seeks to establish an agency for the rehabilitation of repentant Boko Haram members, Ibrahim Gaidam, has explained that the proposed agency would help promote national unity and security.
The introduction of the bill has attracted outrage from many Nigerians.
They fear that releasing the ‘repentant’ Boko Haram militants into civilian population could be counterproductive as hardened fighters would return to the terror group to commit more atrocities.
Some serving Senators like Istifanus Gyang, Ali Ndume and past senators have also kicked against the bill.
The lawmakers described the bill as needless, waste of resources and misplaced priority. This is even as they questioned the nationality of the insurgents.
But explaining his motive, Sen Geidam, who is the immediate past governor of Yobe State, said the proposed commission would help repentant insurgents to re-enter mainstream politics, religion and society. It would also would promote reconciliation and national unity.
According to the Nation Newspaper, Gaidam gave these reasons when he addressed a press conference in Abuja.
“The agency when established will help rehabilitate and reintegrate the defectors, repentant and forcefully conscripted members of the insurgent group Boko Haram to make them useful members of the society and provide an avenue for reconciliation and promote national security,” he said.
“It will also encourage other members of the group who are still engaged in the insurgency to abandon the group, especially in the face of the military pressure and enable the government to derive insider-information about the insurgency group for greater understanding of the group and its inner workings,” he added.
“It will enable government to use the defectors to fight the unrepentant insurgents. It will help disintegrate the violent and poisonous ideology that the group spreads as the program will allow some repentant defectors or suspect t**rorists to express remorse over their actions repent and recant their violent doctrine and in the long run, re-enter mainstream politics, religion and society.
“The agency would also help to combat future recruitments into the insurgents group. If defectors told their stories and were made more public, their experiences would play a key role in countering T**rorist propaganda, which in turn would lessen the appeal of joining the group,” he explained.