IDPs reject Borno Govt’s plan to reintegrate over 1000 ‘repentant’ Boko Haram members

Borno State Government has begged people of the state to accept the ex-Boko Haram fighters as one of them.

Repentant Boko Haram terrorists (Businessday)

Some Internally Displaced Persons in the North-East have kicked against the decision of the Borno State Government to reintegrate over 1,000 repentant Boko Haram fighters into society.

Due to the military onslaught on the terrorists in the north-east, many of them have been killed while some of them have reportedly surrendered to the Nigerian army.

In a statement on Tuesday, the army said “All surrendered terrorists will be received, processed and passed on to the relevant agencies of government for further assessment in line with extant provisions.”

The Borno State Government has also announced its readiness to accept and reintegrate the repentant terrorists into society.

According to The Punch, the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Home Affairs, Mr Babakura Jatau has equally begged host communities to accept the ex-Boko Haram fighters as one of them.

Jatau said, “At the end of every war, there is reconciliation. Every single war is not ended by the power of the bullet and bomb. They (insurgents) are part and parcel of us. They have surrendered; they are radicalised and they now realise their mistakes.

“Remember, we have been dealing with this problem for the past 13 years. For the past 13 years, the Federal Government has been battling with this insurgency without any peaceful resolution through firepower.

However, IDPs in various camps in Borno have rejected the state government’s decision to reintegrate ‘repentant’ terrorists into society.

They argued that they are in a terrible situation because of the activities of Boko Haram members.

Modu Abubakar, one of the IDPs, who spoke to The Punch said he and his seven children narrowly escaped death when the insurgents attacked their village seven years ago.

He said he lost all his properties and source of livelihood as a result of the attack.

Another IDP, Mustapha Musa, a 53-year-old indigene of Kukawa town in Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State, said he could not forget the pain Boko Haram had caused him.

“I used to have a car which I used for my fishing business. One night, Boko Haram came, destroyed my business and rendered me homeless,” he said.

Also, Mama Hajara, a 47-year-old mother of five who fled from Gwoza in Borno State said it would be impossible to change repentant terrorists’ ideologies.

“I don’t believe that those Boko Haram fighters looking for reintegration have genuinely repented. So I will advise the army and other security agencies in the theatre of the war to use their intelligence in dealing with these people.

“How does the government want a woman whose husband was killed by Boko Haram to feel when she sees a so-called repentant Boko Haram? How would a woman whose child or children were killed by the terrorists feel?” she asked.

Meanwhile, Brigadier Gen. John Sura (retd.), a former Chairman of Training and Operations at the Military Headquarters in Abuja has advised the Federal Government to deploy repentant Boko Haram terrorists to the farm.

Sura said the repentant terrorists should be used to cultivate agricultural products that they deprived the Internally Displaced Persons and other Nigerians to produce.

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