THE Senate on Wednesday urged the President, Major General Muhammad Buhari (retd.), to expedite actions on the prosecution of known sponsors of the Boko Haram sect, currently prosecuting insurgency in Nigeria.
The Senate Committee on Army made the request at a press conference it addressed shortly after the representative of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, led other Generals to defend the 2021 budget of the Army.
Buratai’s representative, who is the Chief of Policy and Plans of the Nigerian Army, Lt. Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, presented the budget to the lawmakers behind closed doors.
Chairman of the Committee Senator Ali Ndume, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said Buhari should emulate the leadership of the United Arab Emirate which recently prosecuted and jailed some identified sponsors of the deadly sect.
He also said the panel was against the current amnesty arrangement for the repentant members of the sect under the Deradicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration of the Nigerian Army.
Ndume said, “We are still calling on the Nigerian Government to ensure that those who are directly or indirectly involved in Boko Haram activities should be brought to book. I think we have not been up and doing on that.
“I am in disagreement with the government on the issue of deradicalising and reintegrating of the repentant Boko Haram members. I still maintain that. You can’t be resettling people and pampering them, while the war is still ongoing.”
The senator said indications that the amnesty arrangement for the ex-Boko Haram sect was not achieving the desired results emanated recently when one of them was linked to recent attacks by the sect.
He said, “The recent attacks in Damboa were carried out by a repentant Boko Haram member who was giving information regarding the movement of the Army. A general was killed in the process.”
“If you give Internally Displaced Persons N150,000 each as they were giving the repentant Boko Haram suspects, they will return to their villages and re-resettle.”