Istifanus Gyang, senator representing Plateau North Senatorial district, has labelled the bill seeking to establish an agency for the rehabilitation and reintegration of repentant Boko Haram insurgents and bandits as an attack on Nigerians.
Gyang, who is deputy chairman, senate committee on defence, call on his colleagues to reject the bill.
The lawmaker said the bill, which was mentioned and has passed first reading, is not only uncalled for, but “assaults the sensibility of Nigerians in view of the fact that most of the victims and communities affected by insurgency, banditry and violent attacks are still languishing from neglect and lack of the much needed government attention and intervention despite repeated calls”.
The senator stated this through Musa Ibrahim Ashoms, his special adviser, media and protocol, in Jos, the Plateau State capital.
According to him, the proposed legislation has made terrorism become a permanent feature to feed and sustain the activities of insurgents.
Gyang noted that, “communities displaced by insurgency and banditry from their ancestral homes are the ones to be rehabilitated and reintegrated as against terrorists and bandits that are responsible for their pain and plight.”
The legislator lamented the irony, where care and attention for terrorist, take precedence over and above that for the victims.
“This is inconceivable, incongruous and offensive to good conscience and equity”, he maintained.
“Attempts at certain quarters to compare and equate Boko Haram t**rorists with the Niger Delta Agitators which attracted the Presidential Amnesty Initiative and Program under the administration of President Yar’adua, is ludicrous,” he added.
He said the Presidential Amnesty Program was not a product of legislation, but of government policy, which has remained so.
“It was an intervention program with a time line and terminal date unlike the Pro Boko Haram Bill, which intends to create an agency that will exist in perpetuity.
“By the proposed legislation, terrorism becomes a permanent feature to feed and sustain the activities of the agency which can best be described as “terrorist breeding agency.
“The Bill is simply an attempt to use the National Assembly particularly the Senate, to acquiesce, placate and incentivize terrorism.
“I’m calling on all Senators to reject the Bill given its obvious negative implications for the security of the nation. To do otherwise is to incentivize t**rorism and put the nation in perpetual harm’s way”, he stressed.
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