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Many Boko Haram members willing to surrender but afraid of Army —Senator Gaidam

Senator Representing Yobe East, Ibrahim Gaidam on Monday revealed that many members of Boko Haram are willing to surrender their arms , but afraid that they will be killed by Nigerian Army.

Gaidam who sponsored a bill on National Agency for Establishment , Rehabilitation, De-radicalization and Integration of repentant Insurgents explained that the agency is only meant for members of Boko-Haram that willing surrender their arms not those arrested in battle field .

Speaking to journalists in Abuja, Gaidam who gave explanation on the controversial bill said that Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation, De-radicalization and Integration of repentant Insurgents is global practice.

Gaidam said, “In view of the fact that the Boko Haram insurgency is becoming increasingly aggressive since its inception in 2009, marked by extreme brutality and explicit targeting of civilians, resulting in continued infliction of massive casualty on innocent citizens, particularly in northeastern Nigeria, it has become necessary for us to go back to the drawing board and adopt an alternative approach, in addition to the military option which has so far performed significantly well.

“There is no doubt that many members of the insurgents’ group have defected and many more are willing to repent given a window of opportunity and this is confirmed by many organizations including NGO’s that have unalloyed access to the Boko Haram.

“There is the need for a more strategic and comprehensive approach to entice those members of the group who, after realizing the futility of the course they are pursuing have eventually decided to voluntarily lay down their arms and chose the path of peace. Hence, the need for the establishment of the National Agency for the Rehabilitation, Deradicalization and reintegration of repentant insurgents to accommodate the defectors.

“The Agency when established, shall be charged with the responsibility of the planning, designing and organizing specialized programs aimed at deradicalizing, rehabilitating and reintegrating defectors and repentant insurgents.

“These specialized programs which will serve as mechanisms for disengagement from terrorist’s ideology and invalidate the recourse to violence will focus on ideological, religious, educational, vocational, social, creative arts therapy, sports and recreation and psychological issues that cause violent extremism.

“It should be noted that the deradicalization and rehabilitation process for former members of Boko Haram will vary on a case-to-case basis. Those who have become weary of the perpetual violence and have voluntarily laid down their arms and defected from the group will be accepted and rehabilitated using various tools of deradicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration.

” In contrast, those captured active in the battlefields will be required to, in addition to the psychological therapy, participate in the criminal justice process.”

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