The Federal Government of Nigeria has advised Nigerians in the Northern part of the country to accept former Boko Haram terrorist back into the society without any form of victimisation.
Speaking in a reaction to how most repentant Boko Haram members were treated in various communities in the north-eastern part of the country, Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, begged Nigerians to accept their reoriented brother or else they will pick up arms again.
Garba Shehu also called on community leaders in areas affected by the insurgency to work with relevant agencies to end rejection of rehabilitated Boko Haram fighters.
“This programme does not have a place for hard boiled, ideologically hardened terrorists. It only admits, after careful scrutiny, repentant fighters that were captured and forced to bear arms in the first instance, and there are many who have been drafted by force,” Shehu said.
“At the point of their graduation, a determination is made that the former combatants have repented and are better citizens, imbued with genuine nationalism. They must no longer represent a danger to society or to themselves.
“Where they are certified as such, communities have the duty of accepting them. Unless they want them to take up arms and resume terrorism from which they have repented, community leaders must work with the relevant agencies to end their rejection.