By Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
The Senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District, Istifanus Gyang has called on his colleagues to reject the bill seeking to establish an agency for the rehabilitation and reintegration of repentant Boko Haram insurgents and bandits.
The lawmaker equally 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.”
Gyang disclosed this through his Special Adviser Media and Protocol, Musa Ibrahim Ashoms in Jos, the Plateau State Capital, saying the
proposed legislation has made terrorism become a permanent feature to feed and sustain the activities of insurgents.
Gyang posits 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 laments at the irony where care and attention for terrorist takes precedence over and above that for the victims.
“This is inconceivable, incongruous and offensive to good conscience and equity,” he maintained.
According to him, “Attempts at certain quarters to compare and equate Boko Haram terrorists with the Niger Delta Agitators which attracted the Presidential Amnesty Initiative and Program under the administration of President Yar’adua, is ludicrous.”
He added that the Presidential Amnesty Programme 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.”
Gyang who is Deputy chairman, Senate Committee on Defence further stated that, “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 terrorism and put the nation in perpetual harm’s way,” he stressed.