Borno residents, IDPs warn FG against amnesty for Boko Haram repentants
Residents of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in camps have raised alarms over plans by the federal government to grant amnesty to repentant Boko Haram insurgents, warning that it may be dangerous to returning displaced persons.
Speaking yesterday at a workshop on the Sensitisation of Religious and Traditional Leaders, De-radicalisaition and Counter-Terrorism and Migration in the Northeast held at the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) secretariat complex in Maiduguri, participants cautioned that it would be dangerous and a security risk for members of communities and so-called repentant insurgents to live together after the series of attacks and killing of many people in the last six years.
They said the de-radicalised insurgents should be provided with a special place or areas by the federal and state governments.
“This may lead to another war and even worse than the current Boko Haram insurgency that has claimed many lives and property in Borno and the Northeast sub-region of the country,” the participants warned.
The Programme Officer of Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Ikponmwosa Omoigiade, said: “The Federal Government selected 10 communities from Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states for the Boko Haram de-redicalisation programme.
“It will also rehabilitate the repentant insurgents with continuous support of integrating the de-radicalised insurgents into the society.”
The participants unanimously agreed that government’s plan poses a threat to the lives of civilians who are gradually returning after suffering series of devastations and loss of many lives and property.
“It might take us 40 years before we can forgive and forget the insurgents. The federal government did not feel or know what we are going through, so if they grant them amnesty, it could be dangerous for those of us willing to go back to our communities,” said one participant, who identified himself simply as Mala.
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