UNEASY CALM OVER THE ACCEPTANCE OF REPENTED BOKO HARAM
Uncertainty is the most stressful feeling of a man, especially when he's concerned about the outcome of a thing. This assertion can best describe the feelings of Nigerians at the moment, against the backdrop of purported public apologies tendered by the acclaimed repented boko haram members, pleading for forgiveness and reintegration back into the society.
Indeed, the news of repented boko haram members that are surrendering themselves willingly to security agencies in the North East is certainly stressing the already stressed Nigerians, who are in-between cheering or jeering the decision of Federal Government and her security handlers to grant the repented terrorists amnesty under the safe corridor policy, which is truly international best practices. The development became more worrisome when it was recently reported that Abdul Ghani BARADAR, the number two most powerful Taliban in Afghanistan and a former prisoner in Pakistan who enjoyed similar opportunities under Barack Obama administration had successfully ousted legitimate government in Afghanistan.
This act, further underscore the fact that a terrorist commander may not truly repent. More so, the genuineness of this repentance is equally questionable even as it is more circumstantial than being genuine. You will recall that after the demise of Abubakar SHEKAU, the factional leader of boko haram who committed suicide when it was obvious that the ISWAP faction of boko haram were going to arrest him. His death created a big lacuna regarding the management of his caliphate with its attendant responsibilities . It's important to note that apart from invasion of farmlands and communities, SHEKAU and his men equally make money from Ransom and support from foreign countries especially Iraq.
The terrorist movement world over is built on secrecy hence, SHEKAU surviving lieutenants may not be privy to a lot of information concerning their funding which may be responsible for the untoward hardship they were exposed to, thereby fanning the ember of their repentance and surrendering moves. With the little succour or relief the repented terrorists are about to enjoy, courtesy of the safe corridor, how are we sure these repented commanders will not return back to the trenches.
Residents of Borno State and their counterparts from the North East who are direct victims of boko haram onslaught are still nursing their wounds while the architects of their misfortunes are about to be granted amnesty. How do you explain the story of the kidnapped Chibok school girl that came back with two children and her terrorist husband who claimed to be repented. Will his supposed in-law accommodate him in their house and thank him for putting their daughter in family way? This is exactly the dilemma of all and sundry, which is seriously stressing the feelings of Nigerians.
Some security analysts have opined that this amnesty is a decoy for further spread of these terrorists whose repentance cannot be taken to bank. They believe that amnesty will give them free access to move around, thereby establishing themselves further into the people.
It's a big challenge for the security managers who are not convinced that mere profiling of repented terrorists is enough to determine the genuineness of their repentance. Not even a lie detector can do much. The Almighty America is regretting the release of Five Taliban from Guantanamo Bay prison and other Taliban they influenced their release from Pakistan and other countries, who are now threat to the world at large.
The allegation that the Nigeria military is considering recruiting repented terrorists, though it has been refuted in its entirety, will be so disastrous if ever considered. Repented terrorists should be kept under serious surveillance for another five years, they should be instructed to be reporting to specified police stations bi-weekly or as the case may be. They should not be allowed to join civilian JTF or do anything that will give them opportunity to handle weapons. They can be called upon to give information but certainly not to have access to arms and ammunitions. The amnesty arrangement is necessary so that the country will not be acting contrary to international laid down principles.
In conclusion, you don't only prepare the repented terrorists for reintegration, you also prepare the aggrieved society to accept them back. The people are clamouring for justice, the international best practices is saying forgiveness. These two unequal equations need to be properly managed in order to avoid future dooms. It is pertinent to note that some boko haram members were conscripted into the terrorist army against their wishes including women who were forcefully married, they are also part of the safe corridor beneficiaries. Rehabilitation and reintegration should not be done at the detriment of reconciliation especially between the offenders and the people they offended.