Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has revealed the reason his government is planning to reintegrate over 1,000 repentant Boko Haram fighters into the society.
Naija News had reported that no fewer than 1,000 Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province members had laid down their arms and surrendered to Nigerian troops.
In a statement by the Nigerian Army, the repentant terrorists will be processed and passed on to the relevant government agencies for further assessment in line with extant provisions.
According to the Borno State Government, it is ready to accept and reintegrate the repentant terrorists into society to end the war against Boko Haram.
Speaking on Saturday during a visit to Bama and Gwoza Local Government Areas of the state, Zulum said the reason for the planned reintegration is to restore peace back to the state and end the war against insurgency.
The governor added that the need to reintegrate the repented terrorists is to stop them from returning to their old ways.
Zulum, however, noted that accepting repentant insurgents has the risk of offending the feelings of victims which may lead to rebellion.
He said: “We (in Borno) are in a very difficult situation over the ongoing surrender by insurgents. We have to critically look between two extreme conditions and decide our future. We have to choose between an endless war or to cautiously accept the surrendered terrorists, which is really painful and difficult for anyone that has lost loved ones, difficult for all of us, and even for the military whose colleagues have died, and for volunteers.
“No one would find it easy to accept killers of his or her parents, children and other loved ones. In the last 12 years, we have been in this war and we have lost thousands of fellow citizens. We don’t know the whereabouts of thousands of others; we don’t know whether they are alive or dead.
“On my way travelling to Gwoza and Bama, I saw many people cultivating their farmlands by the roadside, and this is an indication of emerging peace, which we have to sustain in order to salvage our people. However, as I said, we must come together to carefully analyse the two extremes and come up with a workable framework.
“I will engage in high-level consultations with President Muhammadu Buhari, service chiefs, resident security heads, traditional rulers, the national assembly, and other stakeholders to come up with a framework on how to move forward.”
Earlier, the Borno State Government has announced its plans to reintegrate over 1,000 repentant Boko Haram fighters into society.