It’s on record that the military had in 2016 launched Operation Safe Corridor, an initiative mainly for the deradicalisation and rehabilitation of ex-Boko Haram members. It was said that the aim of the operation is to reintegrate repentant Boko Haram members into society.
Following the launch of the of the operation, it was gathered that many insurgents surrendered themselves to the security operatives in the name of repentant Boko Haram members seeking for rehabilitation and reintegration.
It’s obvious that many people didn’t support the idea of reintegrating the terrorists back to the community as a results of their barbaric acts.
Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in Hausa In 2009, Boko Haram carried out a spate of attacks on police stations and other government buildings in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state. Since March 2015, the group has been aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Since the current insurgency started in 2009, Boko Haram has killed tens of thousands and displaced 2.3 million from their homes and was at one time the world’s deadliest terror group according to the Global Terrorism Index.
The rehabilitation and reintegration process by the federal government is indeed a commendable because for me, reintegration program will prevents a the insurgent(s) incarcerated person from committing another crime by helping that person secure a good job and also encourage other members to repent but the questions here are; can the society embrace them, are the repentant members will resist the discriminations and stigmatisations?
It was gathered that one of the reintegrated members that have recently released went back to his community with some papers believed to be government clearance paper but unfortunately, the reaction of the people of that community was, as expected, a total rejection and condemnation of the authorities who released him back to the community. This follwed video that went viral of the gruesome murder of the humanitarian aid workers that was released by Boko Haram and sadly, one of those killed was from the same area where the repented terror is being planned to be reintegrated and the community members expressed their total dissatisfaction.
While gathering people’s opinion, many suggested that “instead of the government to rehabilitate and reintegrate the insurgents, why not the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who were affected by the activities of the terrorist?” While others said “Those who kill by the sword need have the same treatment. Adding that it was a terrible idea, It’s neither good initiative nor good integration, its baseless and unfounded plan, hundreds of IDPs with cognate experience need re-training and skillful orientations which at a turn will be beneficial to the society and to governemt at large, its unwelcomed and never will that be, a killer, raper and abductor is always a string to his name no society will welcomed such. Anyone who is sentimental on this issue is far from a good thought. Imagine you had your children murdered, your wife rapped and killed. The culprits are arrested and the government tells you he is now repentant, While you are still at an IDP camp, your family disorganised, you are struggling to get food to eat, the government has sequester the culprits, feed them and clothes them, and gave them education, give him money to start a business to come and be your neighbor”.
Though, it’s obvious that whoever repent means he/she feel or express sincere regret or remorse about wrongdoing or sin committed and that is why it’s good for the society to embrace all and sundry by forgiving and forgetting what they have done in other to get lasting peace in the country.
Abdulmuminu Kolo Gulani,
Maiduguri, Borno state