It’s on record that the military had in 2016 launched Operation Safe Corridor, an initiative mainly for the deradicalisation and rehabilitation of ex-Boko Haram members. It was said that the aim of the operation was to reintegrate repentant Boko Haram members into the society.
Following the launch of the operation, it was gathered that many insurgents surrendered themselves to the security operatives in the name of repentant Boko Haram members seeking rehabilitation and reintegration.
It’s also obvious that many people didn’t support the idea of reintegrating the terrorists back to the community as a result of their barbaric actions.
Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in Hausa. In 2009, Boko Haram carried out spates of attacks on police stations and other government buildings in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State. Since March 2015, the group has been aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Since the current insurgency started in 2009, Boko Haram has killed tens of thousands and displaced 2.3 million from their homes and was at one time the world’s deadliest terror group according to the Global Terrorism Index.
The rehabilitation and reintegration process by the Federal Government is indeed commendable because for me, reintegration program will prevent the insurgent(s) or incarcerated persons from committing another crime by helping that person secure a good job and also encourage other members to repent but the questions here are; can the society embrace them? Will the repentant members resist the discriminations and stigmatizations that will be meted against them?
While gathering people’s opinion, many suggested that “instead of the government to rehabilitate and reintegrate the insurgents, why not the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who were affected by the activities of the terrorist?” Other observers maintain that “Those who kill by the sword need to be given the same treatment.”
It’s obvious that whoever repents means he or she feels or expresses sincere regret or remorse about wrong doing or sin committed. That is why it’s good for the society to embrace all and sundry by forgiving and forgetting what they have done in order to get lasting peace in the country.
Abdulmuminu Kolo Gulani writes from Maiduguri