The Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) on Sunday described plans by the Senate to pass a bill for the establishment of an agency that would ensure the rehabilitation, de-radicalization and integration of repentant Boko Haram fighters in the country as unfortunate.
The bill sponsored by the lawmaker representing Yobe East senatorial district, Ibrahim Gaidam, was read during the plenary last Thursday.
The Chairman of PANDEF, Idongesit Nkanga, in a chat with journalists warned the Federal Government on the danger of treating the Boko Haram insurgents with kid gloves.
He said: “It is unfortunate that we are treating the issue of Boko Haram insurgents with kid gloves. There is nowhere in the world that you will go and be begging them the way we are begging.
“In other countries, you do not negotiate with them (terrorists), but in our case, tomorrow you will see a governor standing with bandits and taking picture after which they will give them money.
“At some point, the government said they are foreigners, are we de-radicalizing foreigners to keep them in Nigeria to do what?
“Besides, what is the point in trying to establish this agency now when the Boko Haram war is still ongoing? If it was at the end of the war when you know you have put in more foundation and these people never going back as bandits again is a different thing. But doing it now will amount to funding them and that is what we are doing.”
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