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Senate mulls agency for repentant Boko Haram fighters

A bill for the establishment of an agency for the rehabilitation, deradicalisation and integration of repentant Boko Haram insurgents scaled through first reading at the Senate on Thursday.

The bill, which was sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Geidam, representing Yobe East Senatorial District, also offers some concessions to Boko Haram fighters who choose to lay down their arms.

It will be recalled that the Nigerian military already has a deradicalisation program which it said has not less than 608 repentant Boko Haram insurgents under the De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DRR) programme operated by Operation Safe Corridor in Malam-Sidi, Gombe State.

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The repentant insurgents were said to have been exposed to formal literacy classes, skills acquisition and Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK) as well as drug and psycho-therapists during their training.

This however drew the ire of a group of Borno elders, led by former Borno governor, Kashim Shettima, saying that the military’s operation was not well thought out.

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