The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has called for benefit of the doubt for repentant Boko Haram insurgents.

Lawan said this while briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of his meeting with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday.

He also denied reports that he and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, were bribed with $10m to influence members of the National Assembly to pass the controversial Petroleum Industry Act.

Answering a question about whether he was optimistic Boko Haram war would come to an end, the Senate President said, “Yes, I’m optimistic that not only Boko Haram, the insurgency in general; because, in addition to Boko Haram you have ISWAP and probably other tangential groups like that.

“What we need to do is to have a clearly defined national policy on how we deal with this because unless we have a strategy, we may be overwhelmed and it could deny us the opportunity of getting the best out of this surrender.”

Lawan said all suspects who surrended were not the same.

“Some are genuine and should not be mixed up with those who are surrendering for ulterior motives. Surrendering terrorists should be given the benefit of the doubt and properly reintegrated into society.”

On the bribe, Lawan said, “I want to use this opportunity to make exceptions to those kinds of unwarranted, improvable false and fake information being fed to the Nigerian public. And the danger people will face is, you cause unnecessary damage to the reputation of people.”


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