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Senator Gaidam Finally Reveals Why He Sponsored Bill For Creation Of Boko Haram Agency

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Yobe-born Senator, Ibrahim Gaidam has revealed why he sponsored a “Bill for an Act to establish a National Agency for the education, de-radicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration of repentant insurgents”.

The lawmaker who addressed a press conference in Abuja, said the bill was sponsored to help repentant insurgents re-enter mainstream politics, religion and society.

Gaidam wrote: “Bill for an Act to establish a National Agency for the education, de-radicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration of repentant insurgents would promote reconciliation and national unity.

“The agency when established will provide an avenue for rehabilitating, de-radicalizing, and reintegrating the defectors, repentant and forcefully conscripted members of the insurgent group Boko Haram to make them useful members of the society.

“Provide an avenue for reconciliation and promote national security.

“Provide an-open-door and encouragement for other members of the group who are still engaged in the insurgency to abandon the group, especially in the face of the military pressure.

“Allow the government to derive insider-information about the insurgency group for greater understanding of the group and its inner workings.

“Gaining a greater understanding of the insurgents will enable the government to study the needs of de-radicalization effort, improve the process and address the immediate concerns of violence.

“Enable Government to use the defectors to fight the unrepentant insurgents.

“Help disintegrate the violent and poisonous ideology that the group spreads as the program will allow some repentant defectors or suspect terrorists to express remorse over their actions repent and recant their violent doctrine and in the long run, re-enter mainstream politics, religion and society.

“If defectors told their stories and were made more public, their experiences would play a key role in countering Terrorist propaganda, which in turn would lessen the appeal of joining the group.”

The Senator representing Yobe East further stated that establishment of the agency will help the Federal Government cut the cost of incarceration, render extremist movements obsolete by undermining the foundations upon which the movements were built and also make repentant terrorists become useful members of the society.

Gaidam added: “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…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, De-radicalization 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.

“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.

“In dealing with the insurgency, Nigerian Government needs to introduce both preventive and corrective measures in addressing violent extremism.”

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29 Soldiers Died In Boko Haram Ambush — Army

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Nigerian Army

29 soldiers died during last week’s ambush of troops at Goniri and Gorgi by Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs), Nigeria Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu has said.

The military had earlier told reporters that initial information available indicated that 47 soldiers were killed in the attacks that occurred on March 22 and 23, noting that further verification would be given after stocks must have been taken at the bases of troops attached to Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

Making the clarifications on Friday, Col Iliyasu said the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai sent a delegation led by Chief of Training and Operations (Army), Maj.-Gen. Enobong Udoh to the northeast to ascertain the state of affairs.

Others in the delegation which spent two days in the area, included Chief of Military Intelligence, Maj.-Gen. Samuel Adebayo, Director, Campaign Planning, Maj.-Gen. Christopher Musa and Deputy Director, Peacekeeping Operations, Colonel Samaila Uba.

Iliyasu also said a visit to 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital in Maimalari Cantonment by the delegation revealed there were 61 injured personnel including seven officers being treated in the hospital.

He said the 61 wounded comprised those from previous encounters as well as personnel who sustained injuries in the ambush.

Iliyasu said: “On arrival at Maiduguri at about 6pm on March 24, the COAS proceeded straight to the Headquarters, Theatre Command, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, where he was briefed on the said encounter by the Theatre Commander, Maj.-Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi. The Theatre Commander explained that, on March 22, having captured and cleared Gorgi of the Boko Haram insurgents, he led the troops to harbour about five kilometers ahead of the location.

“However, at about 7am on March 22, when the troops were preparing to continue with their advance to clear other Boko Haram enclaves in the area, the insurgents attacked the rear elements of the advance force in an attempt to overrun them.

“The gallant troops repelled the attack, inflicting heavy casualty on the terrorists. In the aftermath of that encounter, no less than 150 Boko Haram terrorists were neutralised by the gallant troops while a large number of them retreated with gunshot wounds. Many of their equipment were also destroyed.

“However, 29 personnel of Operation LAFIYA DOLE paid the supreme price during the encounter as a result of the multiple explosions that occurred when the engine of an army truck conveying artillery bombs, explosives and other munitions caught fire after being hit by a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) bomb fired by the insurgents.

He noted that some soldiers sustained various degrees of injuries and were evacuated to the 7 Division Hospital Maimalari Cantonment where they are responding to treatment.

Iliyasu said the delegation proceeded to Headquarters Sector 2 in Damaturu after a thorough briefing by the Theatre Commander on Wednesday morning, March 25.

He said the COAS addressed the troops that took part in the Gorgi operations, adding that they were in high spirits following their resounding victory over the terrorists during the encounter.

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BREAKING: Vehicle Carrying Explosives Caused Akure Blast, Says Akeredolu

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Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has said a vehicle moving improvised explosive devices to a nearby state caused the explosion that rocked Akure, the state capital.

The explosion which occurred in the early hours of Saturday split the Akure Owo Road into two, reportedly destroying over 100 buildings.

Akeredolu, who inspected the scene of the explosion on Saturday, said he was briefed by security chiefs.

He explained that the vehicle was in a convoy heading to a storage facility in a neighbouring state when it broke down along the Akure Owo Road, some 2km to the Akure Airport.

The governorsaid the explosion, which destroyed over 50 buildings, happened in the process of fixing the vehicle.

He said, “I have been briefed by the security chiefs that in the early hours of Saturday, March 28th, a vehicle in a convoy transporting explosives to a storage facility in a neighbouring state developed a fault while in transit along the Akure Owo Road about 2km from the Akure Airport.”

He warned the people of the state to stay away from the spot where the vehicle exploded, advising them to maintain a respectable distance to avert another disaster should another explosion recur.

He said security operatives have cordoned off the area.

“Do not also forget that coronavirus is in the country. I thank God that there has not been any recorded case in Ondo State,” he added.

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Buhari’s Ministers Donate 50% Of March Salary To Support Fight Against Coronavirus

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Nigeria’s 43 Cabinet Ministers have donated 50% of their March 2020 salaries to support the Federal Government’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, quoted the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, who coordinated
the donation, as saying it was a gesture of solidarity and support for the Federal Government’s efforts to tackle the disease.

”This global virus outbreak will require nations, continents and smaller communities to pull together to contribute their resources and support one another.

This will facilitate an early resolution of the problem,” Alhaji Mohammed further quoted Senator Saraki as saying.

The Ministers also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his leadership role in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

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