SERAP asks Lawan to drop bill on repentant B/Haram terrorists for foreign education
The Socio-Economic Right And Accountability Project [SERAP], a civil society organisation [CSO], has urged the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, to drop the bill providing for repentant Boko Haram terrorists to access foreign education.
SERAP announced this on its Twitter handle @SERAPNigeria posted on March 1, 2020.
The CSO also argued that calling Boko Haram members “ex-agitators” in the bill mocks their victims and erodes justice assured that the bill is never implemented.
SERAP tweeted: “We’ve asked @DrAhmadLawan to drop the bill that would allow “repentant terrorists” access to UBEC & TETFund funds to enjoy foreign education.
“By calling Boko Haram members “ex-agitators”, the bill mocks victims & erodes justice. We’ll make sure it’s never implemented.”
BREAKING: We’ve asked @DrAhmadLawan to drop the bill that would allow “repentant terrorists” access to UBEC & TETFund funds to enjoy foreign education. By calling Boko Haram members “ex-agitators”, the bill mocks victims & erodes justice. We’ll make sure it's never implemented.
— SERAP (@SERAPNigeria) March 1, 2020
ElombahNews had, on February 28, reported that a controversial bill officially known as “A Bill for the Establishment of the National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalisation and Integration of Repentant Insurgents in Nigeria and for Other Connected Purposes”, passed the first reading in the Senate.
The bill, which was sponsored by Senator representing Yobe East, Ibrahim Gaidam attracted angry reactions from the Chibok Community, which was attacked by the insurgents in 2014, and the Christian Association of Nigeria [CAN].
The bill presented proposed that the National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalisation and Integration of Repentant Insurgents in Nigeria’ will get its funding from the Universal Basic Education Commission [UBEC] and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund [TETFund]
Other sources of funding include donations, grants, annual subventions from the government and counterpart funding from the six North-East states of Borno, Bauchi, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba and Gombe.
Also the #BringBackOurGirls movement, which has been calling for the release of schoolgirls abducted from Chibok in 2014 by the insurgents, said the plan to set up the agency should be done concurrently with the rehabilitation of thousands of internally displaced persons.
But on Monday, Gaidam, in an interview with journalists, defended the bill, saying that many Boko Haram terrorists were willing to lay down their arms but were afraid of the consequences of their action.
The senator explained that his bill was not meant to take care of insurgents captured by the security agencies because those ones would be made to face the full wrath of the law.