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Zulum counters El-Rufai, says 90% B’Haram members genuinely repented

By Terhemba Daka, Abuja
03 February 2022   |   4:24 am
Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has declared that over 90 per cent of the ‘repentant’ Boko Haram members have genuinely dropped their weapons.

Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum. Photo: TWITTER/GOVBORNO

Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has declared that over 90 per cent of the ‘repentant’ Boko Haram members have genuinely dropped their weapons.

He disclosed this while fielding questions from State House correspondents after the inauguration of the Presidential Committee on the Repatriation, Return and Resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el- Rufai, had on Tuesday said there was nothing like a repentant bandit or terrorist, adding that no legitimate government could survive tolerating terrorists or negotiating with those disturbing law-abiding citizens.

But Zulum said most of the repentant terrorists were genuine and already supporting the government. His words: “While no process is perfect in the entire world, so far, so good; the process has yielded positive results. I believe that over 90 per cent of those that have surrendered are doing well and have given the government the necessary support. They are also calling their colleagues in the bush to come out and join the process of peace-building.”

On the inauguration of the committee to resettle the IDPs, the governor said: “We are so happy, especially those of us that are in the North East, because thousands of people were displaced, some taking refuge in Chad, Niger Republic and Cameroon.

“This is the time the Federal Government, in collaboration with the state governments of the North East, will facilitate the repatriation of IDPs that are living in neighbouring countries. The committee is also to look into the management of the repentant Boko Haram members. We are so grateful, and the entire North Eastern government will give maximum support to this committee.”

According to him, the North East governors shall provide support, while the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, together with the military, will ensure that the process yields the desired result.

On whether the refugees are ready to return, he enthused: “They are over-ready! They have been agitating for a return in the past two and a half years. Unfortunately, the enabling environment has not been created for that return.

“But now that the Federal Government has acted, all the necessary resources and materials needed to ensure their return in a dignified manner will be provided by the Federal Government and we remain extremely grateful.”