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Boko Haram FG says Nigerians should embrace repentant terrorists

The FG's decision to grant amnesty to Boko Haram is getting pushback from Nigerians.

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Army offers Nigerians N5m reward for information on Boko Haram's bomb-making factories play The Nigerian government has been fighting Boko Haram for nine years (AFP/File)

The Federal Government has urged Nigerians to get behind its plan to grant amnesty to repentant Boko Haram terrorists as it will help to save more lives and resources for the country to progress.

During an interview on Sunday, April 1, 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari's Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said making peace with the terrorist group will greatly benefit the country as it can focus on other things.

He said the Federal Government should be able to reintegrate them back into society as long as they stop fighting and express remorse.

He said, "Whoever is peddling these rumours that Boko Haram is being granted amnesty and so on I would ask them who doesn't want to make peace with the enemy?

"In any case as it is proverbially said all wars end up in the boardroom. You can defeat people technically in the field but at the end you must come to the conference room to resolve all issues.

"So if Boko Haram would lay down their arms and stop fighting and stop preaching that negative ideology, the country should be able to embrace them, welcome all of them so that they continue to live normal lives and be useful to the nation.

"What that means is that we will be saving cost, saving lives that are being lost through bombing, killing of service personnel and we will be saving money that we are using to procure weapons so that such money can go into services and infrastructure and welfare of the citizens of this country. It is a win-win situation."

The Federal Government had recently announced that it was in the process of negotiating amnesty with the terrorist group; a decision that has been met with outrage from several quarters.

Boko Haram menace

Since the insurgency of the terrorist group escalated after a 2009 crackdown by the military, Boko Haram, chiefly under Abubakar Shekau's leadership, has been responsible for the death of over 20,000 people and the displacement of more than 2.5 million scattered across Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps across the country and its neighbours.

After a massive military operation resulted in the displacement of the group from its Camp Zairo base in the infamous Sambisa Forest, it has resorted to suicide bomb attacks on soft targets and carried out daring attacks on military bases, with hundreds of captives still unaccounted for.

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