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100 Repentant  Boko Haram Members Granted Amnesty –DG  NEMA

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja

ENUGU, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Senate was on Monday told by the Director – General of the National Emergency Management Agency ( NEMA),  Alhaji Sani Sidi  that not less than 800 repentant Boko Haram militants are currently undergoing vocational skills  training in form of amnesty under the supervision of the office of the Chief of Defence Staff ( CDS).

This is just as the  wife of the President, Aisha Buhari  along with some Governors’ wives ,on Monday shunned the Senate public hearing on the North East Development Commission Bill ( NEDC) as  they opted to attend the lower chamber session as against that of the senate.

The two chambers had planned joint public hearing on the NEDC bill  by relevant committees from both the Senate and the House of Representatives but it was on  Monday held separately.

Sources from the Senate Committees on Special Duties and Establishment and Public Service saddled with the responsibility of organizing the public hearing in collaboration with their House counterparts , informed the African Examiner that as at Friday last week, preparations were concluded for the joint session only for the House to back out on Sunday night.

According to them, “the last minute withdrawal of the House from the earlier planned joint session on the NEDC Bill, arose from the decision of the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara , being an indigene from the North East, to participate fully at the public hearing and giving it all desired attention”.

Meanwhile at the Senate session declared opened by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, NEMA  DG explained that the Programme under which repentant Boko Haram militants are being rehabilitated tagged: ” Safe Corridor Initiative”, was conceived purposely to provide a leeway for them to turn a new leaf.

“It is not correct that the Federal government does not have a plan for repentant sect members. The Federal government has set up the safe corridor programme. I do know that over 800 sect members have been registered in it.

“They have exited the Boko Haram militants through the programme in line with the International best practice. They are currently receiving various skills acquisitions programme, which is being handled by the military. It’s being by the Chief of Defence Staff”, he said.

He posited that restoration of  formal education, sustainable agriculture, paternalism, infrastructural reconstruction, environmental protection and remediation for  people of the North East should constitute the key focal areas of the North East Development Commission.

In his own submission, Engineer Kaka Kyari Gujbawu stressed the need for the engagement of  civilian JTF in government establishment.

“With all the military myth, the help by the civilian JTF assisted in routing the sect. So there is need for government integration,” he said.

In his address at the session, the Senate President Bukola Saraki said for 7 years, the people of North East have suffered untold destruction of both private and public properties worth billions of Naira, necessitating a Development Commission the bill is seeking for.

His words: ” The North East has endured unprecedented pervasive brutality, satanic barbarism meted out against them; Christians and Muslims alike, young and old, men and women by the activities of Boko Haram.

“In an orgy of un-abating and indiscriminate attacks on the Nigerian state and its circularity, they employed everything destructive to threaten our national security and socio-economic stability; maiming, bombing, attacking every institution that would help us remain a virile and united nation.

“What we have witnessed in the North East demands special attention from all well meaning Nigerians, not just from government. We must all rise up and say never again. We have seen families wiped out, children orphaned, incomes plunged below a tenth of what they were a decade ago”.

In his opening address, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Special Duties, Senator Abdul-Aziz Murtala Nyako said the commission would provide the legal framework for addressing the challenges in the North East occasioned by the insurgency.


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