Boko Haram: FG Begins Amnesty Programme For ‘Repentant Terrorists’ | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Boko Haram: FG Begins Amnesty Programme For ‘Repentant Terrorists’

BokoHaram3Post
Posted: May 9, 2016 at 8:58 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
…800 Under CDS’s Vocational Training
ROTIMI AKINWUMI
ABUJA
 
The Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has commenced Amnesty programme for Boko Haram insurgents, even without getting parliamentary support for the programme.
Already, nealy 800 members of the Boko Haram insurgents were currently being trained in vocational skills under the programme tagged, “Safe Corridor initiative”.
More of the insurgents were being urged to drop their weapons and join the programme.
The disclosure on the amnesty programme was made public on Monday at the public hearing on a Bill for the establishment of the North East Development Commission (NEDC) by Alhaji Sani Sidi, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The disclosure was made even as the Senate on Monday assured that the Bill on the establishment of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) would be laid for third reading, latest by May 25.
Dr. Bukola Saraki, Senate President; and Senator Abdul-Aziz Murtala Nyako, Chairman, Senate Committee on Special Duties, gave the assurance in their speeches delivered on the occasion on Monday.
The commencement of the amnesty programme came as a shock as the Federal Government had severally denied establishment of any form of amnesty programme for the terrorists who have continued to waste human lives in the North East states at will.
The NEMA boss, Sidi, who made the disclosure while speaking at the event disclosed further that the programme for the rehabilitation of the Boko Haram fighters was being co-ordinated by the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. General Gabriel Olonishakin.
He, however, did not disclose if the repentant terrorists under training were being paid any monthly stipend like their Niger Delta militants’ counterparts.
In defending the programme, he said the programme was conceived to provide a leeway for repentant members of the sect to turn a new leaf.
Alhaji sidi made the comments while responding to the comment of a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Kaka Kyari Gujbawu, who canvassed general amnesty for returning Boko Haram insurgents.
Sidi said, “It is not true that the Federal Government has no amnesty package. There is what is called safe corridor. I do know that 800 plus (Boko Haram) have been registered. I don’t want to be specific. They have exited Boko Haram through the window. They are currently receiving various skill acquisition trainings. The military is handling it. It is being monitored by the Office of the CDS.”
 Hon. Gujbawu had in his presentation said that the NEDC Bill should include amnesty for repentant Boko Haram insurgents because most of the insurgents were conscripted to fight along Boko Haram members.
He said that another chance to life should be given to the repentant insurgents.
 He also said that proper compensation provision should be made for the Civilian Joint Task Force members who he said were used and dumped.
Gujbawu said that some form of integration in the line of employment should be evolved for the Civilian JTF members who helped tremendously to push out Boko Haram insurgents from Maiduguri.
But Senator Abubakar Kyari (Borno North) noted that the Borno State Government was already doing something for the Civilian JTF.
He noted that the state government has trained them under the supervision of the military and provided vehicles and uniform for the group.
Kyari also said that the state government was paying stipends to members of the Civilian JTF out of its meager resources.