Critical Outrage As FG Pampers Repentant Boko Haram Terrorists Whereas IDPs Endure
Repentant Boko Haram members
The current commencement of about 600 repentant Boko Haram terrorists and their deliberate reintegration into society by the Federal Authorities has once more triggered the controversy on the appropriateness or in any other case of that transfer by the federal government. On this piece, TUNDE AJAJA examines the implications of this for the Nigerian state
The nice and cozy reception the Nigerian authorities accorded repentant Boko Haram terrorists, who’ve over the years killed 1000’s of Nigerians, wreaked havoc on the Nigerian state and fought openly to shred the sovereignty of this nation, is as soon as once more a matter of significant concern to many Nigerians.
This, maybe, is one challenge that gained’t go away shortly, particularly as their co-fighters are nonetheless within the North-East, particularly Borno State, killing unarmed civilians and Nigerian troopers alike in droves.
The carnage attributable to this dreaded group is, to say the least, terrifying, a state of affairs pushing many Nigerians, together with safety specialists to ask questions in regards to the controversial transfer by the federal government.
“It (the rehabilitation and deliberate reintegration) is a mistake and a really unlucky circumstance as a result of actuality is being stood on its head,” mentioned Ona Ekhomu, a seasoned safety professional and analyst. “The perpetrators are getting a gentle touchdown; they’re residing on authorities largesse, all in some unproven claims that they’ve been deradicalised, which we all know shouldn’t be true.
“When any individual commits homicide, you retain them in jail for all times otherwise you even dangle them, but these people who find themselves beheading others, bombing individuals and killing 1000’s are being given a gentle touchdown. A part of the issue now we have is that we don’t have our priorities proper.”
Ekhomu, who’s the chairman of Trans-World Safety Programs Ltd., added, “I completely oppose it and suppose it’s very inhuman of whoever the policymaker is that got here up with the concept that they need to be rehabilitating these fighters.”
The terrorists, who on their half have proven no mercy on the Nigerian state and its residents, haven’t solely kidnapped and violated many, together with younger schoolgirls – turning them to intercourse slaves and suicide bombers – they’ve murdered many, beheaded some, executed some overtly, burnt some to ashes and turned many kids to orphans, wives to widows and males to widowers.
The victims of their virulent assaults have fled for canopy in numerous elements of the nation, many are constrained to dwell a day at a time within the camps for internally displaced individuals whereas some don’t even know if their family members are nonetheless alive or are merely lacking owing to the assaults.
For instance, on March 23, 2020, the insurgents, a few of whom at the moment are being welcomed again into the society they’ve desecrated, laid an ambush for some Nigerian troopers and killed about 70 of them in a single fell swoop. That is along with overrunning army bases and killing troops in a number of different assaults.
Of the torrent of assaults, essentially the most current was the assault on the convoy of Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State and the a number of bombings that killed six individuals and left about 27 individuals injured few days in the past. Because the insurgency began in 2009, about 100,000 Nigerians are mentioned to have been killed – the quantity is nonetheless rising – whereas about 2.three million individuals have been displaced.
In the meantime, with all these, many individuals have expressed fear that the federal government is carrying on with the mentioned rehabilitation of the ex-terrorists, in an operation tagged ‘Operation Protected Hall’.
For instance, the Chairman, Senate Committee on the Military, Ali Ndume, who represents Borno South Senatorial District, in an interview with British Broadcasting Company Hausa Service on Wednesday, mentioned terrorists by no means repent. He described the initiative as unacceptable to the individuals and that authorities ought to cease the programme forthwith.
He added, “Not that they even apologised to you, they solely apologised to the federal government with the pondering that authorities has failed and that’s the reason they’re being pampered. They (terrorists) are like Kharijites. Many amongst these launched have since run away. They’ll by no means repent.”
He identified that one of many repentant terrorists had disappeared after killing and robbing his father.
In the meantime, talking additional on the ills of the initiative, Ekhomu, who earned the Licensed Safety Officer Teacher from the United States-based Worldwide Basis for Safety Officers, said that the programme was a mirrored image of misplaced priorities, noting that the nation ought to have learnt from what occurred to the late chief of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Ibrahim al-Baghdadi.
He added, “They (the terrorists) have been an important risk to the society they usually should be held. The purpose is that Operation Protected Hall is a mistake. It’s a mistake and a nasty technique as a result of they can not assure the end result or that it might meet the coverage targets.
“I maintain telling them the well-known story of (Abu Bakr) al-Baghdadi, who was launched in the same method by the United States army in Iraq. They didn’t know at the moment they had been releasing a man who would go on to behead many People, Europeans and trigger the loss of life of many individuals.
“Despite the fact that al-Baghdadi is in his grave, his fingers are nonetheless right here within the North-East of Nigeria, inflicting havoc for us.
“So, what they’re doing is recycling the fighters and the troopers would surprise why the federal government is bringing in these individuals to struggle them once more. It’s a nation that fights a struggle, not the military and that’s the reason now we have different establishments. Why can’t the legal justice system work? You retain them in a spot for six months and you then flip again and say they’re graduating them. What commencement?”
Ekhomu described the programme as indefensible, noting that it will need to have been an initiative of the Boko Haram sympathisers. “Lots of the sympathisers have departed from it as a result of they’ve seen the hazards on this, but we’re nonetheless defending it,” he mentioned. “The opposite day, I noticed one very laughable and ridiculous assertion that the repentant terrorists have sworn allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria; I laughed and requested if individuals could possibly be so humorous.
“You imply a Jihadi man swore allegiance to Nigeria, how does that work? They don’t care about you or your authorities; they don’t care about your authorities, neither have they got any regard for them. It is a very dangerous coverage that ought to by no means have been introduced in.”
“As of Friday, the struggle had been on for 11 years and 4 days and right here we’re. It began on July 26, 2009 in Bauchi State, is it not sufficient already? Killing their chief, Mohammed Yusuf, extrajudicially in July 2009 in Maiduguri is the silliest factor they (police) have ever carried out.
“You by no means kill the pinnacle of an insurgency; you are taking him alive in order that he can discuss to his guys. We killed Yusuf however we’re confronted with Abubakar Shekau. Take a look at the place we are.”
Equally, a safety advisor and fellow, Institute of Safety, Nigeria, Mr Chigozie Ubani, mentioned even although he wasn’t aware about what knowledgeable the choice to pardon the ex-fighters, they need to be serving completely different jail phrases contemplating what they had been reported to have dedicated.
He defined that intelligence ought to have been extracted from them to strengthen the struggle in opposition to insurgency. “However I doubt, going by what now we have, if that was carried out successfully or convincingly,” he mentioned.
He added, “The choice to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into the society is flawed, in my very own view, however I wouldn’t know what knowledgeable it and I wouldn’t have suggested that that measure ought to be taken as a result of these guys would hardly repent.
“They had been indoctrinated and most of them would nonetheless consider in no matter led them into combating the state. So, they couldn’t have been baptised in a single day. It’s a large threat and that’s not good for the nation.”
Talking on how this impacts the troopers on the entrance, he mentioned, “Whenever you take a look at what’s going on, the troopers are fatigued and demoralised. These individuals (pardoned insurgents) have up to now unleashed a number of mayhem on these troopers and also you need them to look at you rehabililtate them and reintegrate them into society. So, what had been they combating for within the first place?
“I’ve mentioned earlier than that it’s unsuitable for these younger males to be within the theatre of struggle constantly for a interval of 9 months, and a few of them have overstayed there. The entire thing has taken its toll on the Nigerian defence system. They want some measure of remedy to be sane once more.”
Within the view of Prof Oni Fagboungbe, a psychologist, reintegrating the ex-terrorists into the society was like condoning absurdity, as he famous that when individuals have fought in opposition to the nation, killed many individuals and are reintegrated, it may solely function motivation to do worse issues, understanding they may all the time come again to get pleasure from amnesty.
He burdened that such rehabilitation and reintegration could be higher carried out when the struggle was over.
He mentioned, “We’re combating insurgents, the struggle is raging and on daily basis they’re getting refined, and at the identical time, you’re giving the terrorists reinforcement, motivating them to proceed.
“If rehabilitation will likely be carried out, it’s normally when the struggle has ended and the enemy has been defeated; that’s while you consider issues like that. What it implies is that on this nation, our main choices are influenced by ethnic issues.
“If any individual is doing one thing obnoxious to the nation, and on the identical time you’re motivating him, how would they cease that behaviour? They gained’t. In actual fact, it turns into a double supply of motivation for them. The issue within the nation is that the system pampers individuals who do issues that aren’t within the curiosity of the nation. If you end up motivating them, they might proceed with that behaviour.”
He described as inhuman the transfer to carry again into the society those that have killed 1000’s of individuals and dedicated severe atrocities. “What the federal government is saying invariably is that it lacks capability and the desire energy to take care of the state of affairs,” he added.
In the meantime, the Coordinator, OPSC, Main Normal Bamidele Shaffa, had mentioned in February that the goal of the OPSC was to de-radicalise, rehabilitate and reintegrate repentant Boko Haram members.
As of February, Shaffa mentioned for the reason that programme kicked off in 2016, 280 ex-fighters had thus far graduated and been transferred to their respective states for reintegration into the society. And at one other commencement every week in the past, about 600 ex-fighters had been mentioned to have been rehabilitated, bringing the entire thus far to about 880 graduates.
On the current commencement, the place lots of them had been clad in apparel with the colors of the Nigerian flag – inexperienced and white – the federal government promised them N20,000 every, gear to perform their vocations and a promise to pay the lease of their retailers.
Final week, Borno State Commissioner for Info, Babakura Jatau, advised Sunday PUNCH that the funds and the starter packs got to the repentant terrorists by the North East Growth Fee, noting that solely about 10 per cent of the 601 repentant terrorists had been really Boko Haram members whereas the remainder had been those that had been kidnapped and have become accomplices.
Previous to the controversial granting of amnesty for these ex-terrorists, nevertheless, the Nationwide Meeting in February 2020 thought-about a invoice which sought to present the repentant terrorists free international training, ostensibly on the expense of the burdened Nigerians that they had tormented for years.
Part 5(m) of the invoice, sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe East, learn partially, “(The company shall) implement programmes geared in the direction of the rehabilitation of beneficiaries, interact the providers of offshore and Nigerian establishments within the pursuit of the tutorial wants of ex-agitators.”
Whereas the senator defended the invoice that attracted extreme public criticism, it’s worthy of observe that there has not been any such sturdy package deal for the 1000’s of victims of the assaults. Within the varied camps, the displaced individuals, principally malnourished, dwell in very harsh circumstances, whereas the households of some troopers who died on the battlefield have at a number of occasions complained of neglect by the federal government.
Aside from the entitlement as a result of subsequent of kins of the slain troopers, the wives of the fallen heroes thereafter relied on the Defence and Police Officers Wives Affiliation, which is merely an affiliation that largely attracts its monetary power from members’ contributions.
In the meantime, Ndume had additionally identified in his interview that as a substitute of spending cash on the previous fighters, such ought to be used to coach the victims.
He said, “If there’s sincerity of objective on this, these within the IDPs’ camps ought to be skilled in varied trades and vocations in order that they may begin life once more.”
Supply: The PUNCH