The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has urged Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to use his office to ensure that the bill, which will give repentant Boko Haram terrorists opportunities to study abroad with public funds is dropped.
According to SERAP, “the bill, which has passed the first reading at the Senate would give opportunities to ‘repentant terrorists’ to receive foreign education including by accessing funds from the Universal Basic Education Commission, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund and subventions from the government.”
Read Also: Luxembourg Becomes First Country With Free Public Transport
In a letter dated February 28, 2020, and signed by SERAP deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, it said:
“This bill erodes justice and makes a mockery of the suffering of victims, and the unspeakable human tragedy, humanitarian crisis and appalling atrocities committed by the Boko Haram terrorist group.
“By calling Boko Haram members ‘ex-agitators’, the bill mocks the victims of appalling atrocities committed by the terrorist group, and is a blatant affront to victims’ dignity. ‘Repentant Boko Haram terrorists’ are not ‘ex-agitators’; they are terrorists under Nigerian and international laws.
Read Also: Leah Sharibu Doesn’t Have Baby For Boko Haram – Borno Cleric
“Boko Haram members should not be allowed to enjoy foreign education while over 13 million Nigerian children of school age are roaming our streets.
“Alleged perpetrators of gross violations should not get the benefits at the expense of these and other deserving children.
“Rather than allowing perpetrators to access public funds to enjoy foreign education, the Senate should be promoting reparation for victims, to prevent future criminality and ensure the best interest of justice.”
Read Also: Coronavirus: Those Increasing Prices Of Face Masks, Sanitiser’ll Be Presecuted – FCCPC
Consequently, SERAP challenged Lawan to urgently initiate four separate bills, to compensate victims of Boko Haram atrocities; the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those much in need; access to free, inclusive and quality education to Nigerian children from socially and economically disadvantaged sectors of the population.
“Any such bill should remove school fees and charges to ensure all students can access school equally, and target financial support for girls at risk of dropping out through girls’ education strategies; and accelerate effective prosecution of alleged repentant Boko Haram members and other members,” it noted.
Read Also: Coronavirus: Three Chinese Citizens Quarantined In Plateau
The group vowed to “take all appropriate legal actions nationally and internationally to challenge the legality of any such law, should the Senate go ahead to pass the bill, and should the bill be supported by the House of Representatives and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.”
“Prioritising the education of Boko Haram members over the rights of Nigerian children to quality education is discriminatory, as it violates Nigerian constitutional provisions, international and regional human rights obligations, and will undermine national development,” it further stated.