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FG, Borno move for more ‘repentant’ Boko Haram terrorists

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze (Maidugiri) and Ernest Nzor (Abuja)
24 September 2021   |   4:16 am
Borno State is working with the Federal Government to hasten the surrender of more Boko Haram members with a view to ending the insurgency in Nigeria.

• HURIWA tackles Zulum over amnesty, alleges terror sponsors shielded for being Muslims

Borno State is working with the Federal Government to hasten the surrender of more Boko Haram members with a view to ending the insurgency in Nigeria.

Governor Babagana Zulum, who dropped the hint at a town hall meeting organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to address vandalisation of power and telecommunications infrastructure, yesterday in Maiduguri, observed that the ongoing capitulation by the terrorists was a welcome development, adding that thousands of them had surrendered.

He said: “I commend the Nigerian Armed Forces for the support being given to us towards resolving the lingering security challenges in Borno. We have taken a collective decision to fast-track the surrendering of Boko Haram members, and we have been receiving tremendous support from the Nigeria Police Force, the Department of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies in ensuring the success of this very process.”

THIS came as the Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) flayed the governor for “engaging in unholy communion with terrorists of the Boko Haram genre, who have blood in their hands and have caused the deaths of over 30,000 Nigerian citizens most of whom are Borno State indigenes.”

Recalling the public campaign flagged off by the state government on Wednesday in the capital to reconcile and reintegrate repentant rebels with funding from the European Union (EU), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International Organisation for Migration (IOM) where the Commissioner for Information and Culture, Babakura Abba-Jato, backed the exercise, the rights group faulted the international bodies and the state government for “aiding and abetting terrorism by pretending to be organising reconciliation between terrorists and the victims of terrorism, especially when these offenders of the law did not go through the standard trial permitted by the Constitution and the counter-terror law.” 

HURIWA condemned the “bizarre reconciliation,” stating that what the fundamentalists needed was not reconciliation, but adequate prosecutorial actions to pay for their crimes against humanity.

It, therefore, accused Governor Zulum of committing “treason and aiding and abetting terrorism, which will inevitably be challenged in Nigerian court or the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands soon.”

The organisation also alleged that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was concealing the identities of terror sponsors because of their Muslim background.

Dismissing the explanation offered by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malam, that such disclosure would undermine inquiries, HURIWA, in a statement yesterday in Abuja, by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the AGF was being economical with the truth “because his office had already filed the suit before the competent court of law, meaning that investigations are concluded.”