MORE than 800 repentant Boko Haram insurgents are currently undergoing skills acquisition training. The skill acquisition exercise is being handled by the military and monitored by the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS. Mohammed Sidi, director general of National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, made this known at a two-day Public Hearing on the North East Development Commission Bill 2016. Sidi, who did not say where the exercise is taking place was responding to the comment of Kaka Kyari Gujbawu, former member of the House of Representatives, who canvassed general amnesty for returning Boko Haram insurgents, adding: “It is not true that the Federal Government has no amnesty package. There is what is called safe corridor. I do know that 800 plus (Boko Haram) have been registered. I don’t want to be specific. They have exited Boko Haram through the window.”
Gujbawu had in his presentation at the event said that the NEDC Bill should include amnesty for repentant Boko Haram insurgents because most of the insurgents were conscripted and forced to fight along Boko Haram members. He said that a second life should be given to the repentant insurgents. He also said that provision should be made for the Civilian Joint Task Force members whom he said were used and dumped. Gujbawu said that some form of integration in the line of employment should be evolved for the Civilian JTF members who helped tremendously to push out Boko Haram insurgents from Maiduguri.
Senator Abdul-Aziz Murtala Nyako, chairman, Joint Committee on the North East Development Commission Bill, assured that his committee would consider the amnesty aspect “critically” as well as discuss with the executive on the issue. Nyako said that it is only after such critical consideration that the committee would determine whether amnesty would be part of the Bill.
— May 9, 2016 @ 18:30 GMT