Terrorist quits Boko Haram due to ethnic discrimination
The terrorist says he was frustrated by the discrimination that affected his advancement.
The terrorist, alongside 46 others, surrendered to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) fighting terrorism in the Lake Chad and surrounding areas.
Boko Haram's insurgency in the northeast region kicked off in 2009 with the sect vowing to carve out a caliphate out of Nigeria and at some point controlling dozens of territories which it later lost over the years.
Despite its activities being significantly subdued by the military over the past decade, the group, alongside its influential faction the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), is still terrorising parts of the northeast and surrounding border areas in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger.
Spokesperson of the MNJTF, Colonel Timothy Antigha, announced in a statement on Friday, July 24, 2020 that 47 former fighters have surrendered to troops due to loss of faith in the Boko Haram's vision.
Antigha quoted one of those who surrendered as saying he was frustrated because of discriminatory attitude which limited his upward mobility in the chain of command.
He quoted him as saying, "If you do not speak a particular language, you cannot be appointed a commander or made a guard in the bush, and you cannot even be allowed to also go for tax collection.
"This discriminatory attitude has made some of us feel that we are not trusted and good enough to be given responsibilities."
The terrorist, according to Antigha, also claimed that he was misled to kill innocent people for the group.
Boko Haram's insurgency has led to the death of over 30,000 people, and displacement of over 2.5 million in the northeast and surrounding border countries.
The colonel quoted another former terrorist as claiming that he surrendered because he has lost confidence in the leadership of Abubakar Shekau, the main leader of Boko Haram.
"They told us that we were being lied to and cheated by apostate governments, but I have not seen any difference between Shekau and those he has been condemning. He may even be worse.
"I am having it a lot better here because since we came out of the bush, we have been fed and catered for," Antigha quoted the terrorist as saying.
A female member of the terrorist group that also surrendered called Boko Haram fighters 'ungodly' and lamented the severe abuse of women in the camps.
Antigha called on other fighters to surrender, noting that the MNJTF has structures and programmes in place to receive all those that lay down their arms peacefully.
Operation Safe Corridor, a multi-agency humanitarian effort led by Nigeria's Defence Headquarters, was launched in 2016 to encourage Boko Haram terrorists to surrender.
The programme is based on De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Re-Integration (DRR) of repentant former members of the terrorist group.
Nearly 900 ex-combatants have been admitted into the programme since 2016, with the latest batch of over 600 set to be reintegrated back into their communities.
The programme has been controversial and treated with contempt by large sections of the Nigerian public who say it sends a poor message about President Muhammadu Buhari's war on terror.
In May, Amnesty International criticised the programme for being rife with violations, including the unlawful detention of people not proven to be Boko Haram collaborators.
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