Newspaper review for Friday, February 21: Reactions over 'amnesty' plan for repentant Boko Haram members

Newspaper review for Friday, February 21: Reactions over 'amnesty' plan for repentant Boko Haram members

The major Nigerian print newspapers published on Friday, February 21, mainly focus the Senate's plan to create a commission for the rehabilitation and education of repentant Boko Haram members.

On Thursday, a member of the ninth Senate, Ibrahim Geidam who is from Yobe East, introduced another controversial bill that has got all stakeholders, and indeed every concerned Nigerians talking.

What is the bill about?

Senator Geidam introduced the bill which is seeking “An agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalisation and Integration of repentant insurgents in Nigeria (Est, etc) Bill, 2020”.

The details of this bill and the attendant nationwide reactions it has generated are what graced the front pages of the Nigerian newspapers on Friday.

The Nation reports that Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), said the bill must be approached with extra care and caution, noting that it is a risky concept.

Another senior lawyer, Ebun Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), however, expressed support for the plan, saying anything that put an end to the Boko Haram scourge is welcome.

Newspaper review for Friday, February 21

The front page of The Nation newspaper published on Friday, February 21
Source: UGC

The Punch newspaper focused on the reaction of two major religious associations in the country to the development: the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA).

While the national body of the Christians in the country condemned the plan, its counterpart Muslim association embraced it.

CAN also accused the federal government of trying to make insurgency a lucrative business, in an apparent reference to the government's deradicalisation plan.

The Chibok community in Borno state also condemned the plan. According to the community, it is the victims of the insurgency that needs rehabilitation, not the insurgents.

Newspaper review for Friday, February 21

The front page of The Punch newspaper published on Friday, February 21
Source: UGC

Also on the Boko Haram deradicalisation, The Guardian newspaper reports the reaction of the Afenifere group and Arewa youths.

The two social groups condemned the proposed amnesty for Boko Haram terrorists.

According to the newspaper, Afenifere and Arewa youths in separate statements expressed shock over the proposal.

The groups said whosoever had proposed such a bill to grant amnesty for the terrorists must be thoroughly investigated.

Newspaper review for Friday, February 21

The front page of The Guardian newspaper published on Friday, February 21
Source: UGC

Away from the Boko Haram issue, ThisDay reports that the minister of information, Lai Mohammed, said President Muhammadu Buhari will not resign over the security challenges in the country.

The minister said the president is tackling the security challenges headlong, adding that the resignation call by some Nigerians or the call for the sack of security chiefs should be stopped in order not to aggravate the security situation.

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Newspaper review for Friday, February 21

The front page of ThisDay newspaper published on Friday, February 21
Source: UGC

Vanguard newspaper's frontpage also focused on insecurity, particularly in Edo state. According to the newspaper, no fewer than 10 persons were yesterday killed in Benin City as rival cult groups, Aye and Eiye confraternities, engaged in reprisal attacks.

According to the newspaper, the Edo state government condemned the hike in cult-related killings in the state, cautioning that government would not condone any act of violence or exploits of delinquent youths to cause mayhem in the state.

Newspaper review for Friday, February 21

The front page of Vanguard newspaper published on Friday, February 21
Source: UGC

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