Repentant Boko Haram: Borno Leaders Seek Proper Profiling, Warn Against Hasty Release

Stakeholders in Borno State have called for stringent profiling of repentant insurgents as many Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters surrender to troops in the North East.

The call was part of the 16 resolutions reached during a security multi-stakeholder town-hall meeting convened by Governor Babagana Zulum in Maiduguri, the state capital.

Governor Zulum’s spokesman, Isa Gusau, in a statement on Monday explained that the meeting extensively discussed the pros, cons and implications of the ongoing surrender by repentant insurgents.

According to him, all groups made frank presentations during the meeting held on Sunday afternoon before the resolutions were reached.

They stressed the need to properly profile the repentant insurgents to avoid the hasty release of hardened elements to the larger society.

The stakeholders also demanded that firearms be retrieved from all repentant insurgents, and urged the military to intensify the battle against ISWAP.

They want the Federal Government to quickly establish a world-class centre with facilities for de-radicalisation and rehabilitation of repentant insurgents to where they can be cautiously reintegrated after satisfactory rehabilitation.

In his opening remarks, Governor Zulum called on all participants to be very open and analytical in their submissions looking at potential advantages, problems and implications of having repentant insurgents in the society.

He stated that while it was difficult accepting the killers of their loved ones, it was equally important to find ways of ending the 12-year insurgency.

The governor described the surrendering of the insurgents as dealing with “two extreme conditions”.

He explained that accepting insurgents has its implications on one hand while rejecting them could swell the ranks of rival ISWAP faction that was still armed and waging war.

Governor Zulum referred to the case of Afghanistan where 20 years of the military fight ended with the Taliban now in control of the government.

In his submission, the Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Elkanemi, urged residents to consider genuine reconciliation in the interest of peace while leaders should preach forgiveness and tolerance in their respective domains as one of the ways forward.

Others who attended the meeting were federal lawmaker, Senator Ali Ndume; Theatre Commander of Operation Hadin Kai, Major General, Christopher Musa; Chief Imam of Borno, Zannah Laisu, a representative of the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Borno, and a victim of Boko Haram insurgency, Babagana Malum, among others.


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