Recently, about 1,400 repentant “Boko Haram” members, who were previously in detention, were all released and the plan now is to resettle them into the society. Also as a follow up to the release of the suspects, a bill for the establishment of an agency for repentant Boko Haram members was sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Gaidam, who is the immediate past Governor of Yobe State.
This action was trailed with reactions from different groups such as the Yoruba Socio-Cultural organisation, Afenifere and Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF). Particularly, the Afenifere condemned and stated that the move is “impunity taken too far”.
The position of those opposing the move by both the military and the Senator that is sponsoring the bill is that how can amnesty be accorded to criminals who killed, maimed, raped and destroyed innocent people’s lives and properties when Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province war is still ongoing with the massacre and killings of innocent Nigerians?
In a country where the victims of the notorious Boko Haram terrorist group and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) are still suffering at the various Internally displaced camps without adequate provision of their immediate needs, where many school girls kidnapped and abducted by the insurgents are still missing, where many lives of innocent Nigerians have been taken in a wicked manner, where many military personnel have been killed without any solution in sight, it will be ungodly to say that an amnesty should be given to the terrorists..
In Nigeria, Boko Haram insurgency, herdsmen carnage, kidnapping and police brutality have become a daylight monster terrorising Nigeria as an entity. However, for any reasonable person to recommend the release or amnesty for the repentant Boko Haram members at this time in Nigeria is ridiculous.
What are the assurances that those 1,400 repentant Boko Haram members released and as well as resettled are not going to be security risk to Nigeria? Unlike in other countries of the world where prisons are serving as reformation centres for transformation of criminals to become responsible and good citizens, here in Nigeria criminals, after serving their jail terms, become hardened criminals when released to the society.
Therefore, it is a great risk for the Nigeria that is facing serious security challenges to release Boko Haram members back to the society, talk less of muting the idea of wanting to establish an agency for Boko Haram members.
Boko Haram and their likes deserve no sympathy because their activities are evil, wicked, barbaric and unacceptable in our society.
Agunloye Adewunmi Bashiru,