Nigerian Christians slam bill to create Agency for Repentant Boko Haram Insurgents
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has described the planned de-radicalisation, empowerment and rehabilitation of Boko Haram suspects as troubling and suspicious.
Samson Ayokunle, CAN President, said this at a briefing in Abuja to mark the second year of Leah Sharibu’s abduction, noting that it is shameful that despite Nigeria’s military forces, killings in the country have not let up.
His words: “The setting free of so-called ex-Boko Haram terrorists under de-radicalisation, rehabilitation, empowerment of the arrested terrorists by the federal government and the plan to create an agency to focus on helping Boko haram is rather troubling and suspicious,” he said.
“What is the guarantee that the freed ex-terrorists would not return to Sambisa forest and pick up their arms against innocent Nigerians?”
Represented by Caleb Ahima, CAN Vice President, Ayokunle said: “The development is a shame and there is a cloud of confusion that hangs over the nation and the people that are governing this nation are not doing the right thing.
It could be recalled that a bill for the establishment of an agency for the de-radicalization and integration of repentant Boko Haram insurgents was read for the first time on the floor of the Senate week ago.
The bill titled: “National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalization and Integration of repentant insurgents in Nigeria (Est, etc) Bill, 2020” was sponsored by former Yobe Governor, Senator Ibrahim Geidam, (Yobe East).
The rise of Boko Haram in 2009 has claimed at least 27,000 lives.
The insurgency has displaced nearly 2.4 million people in the Lake Chad Basin.
To date, the Lake Chad Basin region is grappling with a complex humanitarian emergency. Over 3.3 million people have been displaced, including over 2.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in north-eastern Nigeria, over 550,000 IDPs in Cameroon, Chad and Niger and 240,000 refugees in the four countries, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.