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Senate moves to set – up agency for repentant insurgents

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ON Thursday, the Senate initiated a bill to institute an agency to rehabilitate, deradicalise and integrate repentant insurgents in the country.

Ibrahim Gaidam, a Senator representing Yobe East senatorial district, initiated the bill which was read for the first time during plenary on the floor of the Senate.

The bill titled, “National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalization and Integration of repentant insurgents in Nigeria (Est, etc) Bill, 2020” is expected to expose insurgents who want to change their ways to literacy classes, religious education, skills acquisition and psycho-therapists for the duration of the training.

The Nigerian military in a News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, report revealed that Operation Safe Corridor has 608 repentant Boko Haram insurgents currently undergoing the De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration, DRR, Programme in Malam-Sidi, Gombe state.

However, in a research publication titled “Dealing With Boko Haram Defectors in the Lake Chad Basin: Lessons From Nigeria,” published by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, revealed that the Operation Safe Corridor programme only caters for men yet women and children are also involved in fighting for Boko Haram.

It also showed that reinsertion of ex-fighters into their communities is mainly aspirational, because the communities are not willing to accept them back, and little, is done to prepare the communities which could make the ex-fighters return to groups where they would be accepted.

In another development, the upper chamber also called on the Federal Government to ensure the mandatory use of ICT for teaching and learning in public schools in the country.

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Ibrahim Geidam, Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Basic and Secondary, presenting the report titled, “Sorry state of Computer Education” in the country, on the floor of the Senate after the resolution was adopted.

Weighing in on the bill, Stella Oduah representing Anambra North senatorial district supported the bill saying no school should exist without possessing ICT facilities.

“We are in the global village, you must be computer literate and no school should exist without having computer infrastructure and training,” she said.

 

Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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