The Senate has come under widespread criticism following its deliberations on a bill seeking to establish an agency that would see to the rehabilitation, deradicalization and integration of repentant insurgents in the country.
Entitled ‘National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalisation and Integration of repentant insurgents in Nigeria (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB. 340),’ the bill sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Gaidam along with other senators in the chamber was read for the first time during plenary on Thursday at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.
While majority of Nigerians have previously criticised and labelled as counterproductive, the Operation Safe Corridor of the Nigerian Army, which releases the purported repentant Boko Haram militants into civilian population, having allegedly gone through formal literacy classes, skills acquisition and Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK) as well as drug and psycho-therapists, ‘the people’s representatives’ went a step higher this Thursday to devote hard-earned resources of taxpayers to such questionable cause.
Reconciling the wave of insecurity across the land and government’s response to it, must be a very difficult thing for every well-meaning Nigerian to successfully achieve at this time. What is the assurance that these so-called repentant terrorists aren’t behind the increased loss of battles we hear of daily through leaked information and strategy? It is indeed worrying times for patriots in this country.
Counter-terrorism strategies demand a holistic approach (inclusive of weighing its moral implications on the citizenry). We therefore call on the sponsors of this bill to withdraw it, so as not to further dampen the morale of troops on the battlefront as well as create incentives for organised terror and crimes of all forms in this country.
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Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Political Journalist, Analyst and Social Change Advocate with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.