Just today, over 600 so called repentant Boko Haram fighter were freed. The former terrorists who have been in military custody since there arrest were handed over to the Borno State Government in a secret ceremony.
Since 2016, over 3000 ex-Boko haram fighters have been reintegrated back into the society after they surrendered to the military. I guess the reason why the government decided to make the event a secret affair was because of concerns it could provoke public outcry. And bear in mind that government actually spend millions to organize the integration programme under which they are being deradicalized.
Ironically, just a few days before the “freedom” ceremony was held in Borno State for the ex-terrorist, the Federal Government’s security operative masterminded the arrest and repatriation of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Almost at the same time the DSS also raided the premises of Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Igboho, in an apparent attack to arrest him.
Though Igboho managed to escape from the scene of the attack, but two of his men were killed and 13 arrested. The DSS has since declared Igboho wanted.
According to the Federal Government Nnamdi Kanu’s since was terrorism related. Same with Sunday Igboho who has been accused of stockpiling gun to destabilize the country.
To be clear, I applaud the Federal Government for taking down Kanu, who in my view was a clear danger to national security. Kanu by his speech and action was responsible for inciting violence and death in the South East and he had to answer for it. And besides, the only way to stop the insecurity in the South East from spiraling out of control was to find a way to apprehend the loquacious IPOB leader. On the other hands, I believe Igboho was also becoming a menace and had to be put in his place.
But the irony of the Federal government’s action is that while on the one hand they are trying to tackle terrorism with all seriousness, but on the other hand they are releasing those that have been caught by our gallant soldiers. What is the sense in releasing a terrorist once he has been apprehended? Especially when that terrorist was part of an organization that killed thousands of your soldiers and civilians and rendered millions homeless?
I believe that the gesture of releasing Boko haram militants after they have been caught is counterproductive to the military objectives of the Nigerian security forces. It doesn’t make sense. And it doesn’t provide a strong enough deterrent for anyone that may be planning to join Boko haram in future, because they already know that once they are caught, they can easily evade justice.
It is even more annoying to see how some of the so called deradicalized militants smile to the camera when they are being handed over to the government. These are people who a few months ago were blood thirsty assassins.
I dare say that this pluralistic approach to the war on terror cannot deliver the required result. The FG must stop showing any iota of sympathy to terrorists in their custody. Let the law take its full course. We cannot be attacking some group of troublemakers with AK-47 and at the same time waving the olive branch another group of agitators. It doesn’t work that way.
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