Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Al-Amin El-Kanemi, on Wednesday, said the process of reintegrating repentant insurgents into civil society was a welcome development as long as it could usher in lasting peace.
The traditional leader spoke during the launch of a public information campaign in support of reconciliation and reintegration of former non-state combatants and associates in Maiduguri.
He said the insurgency in the state had lingered for a long time and that the people were ready to accept any reconciliation and peacebuilding effort.
He said the repentant insurgents had realised their mistakes and called for peaceful coexistence.
He said, “The issue of Boko Haram is something known to us, and we have been battling with this issue for a very long time: If this thing will come to an end now, honestly it is a welcome development.
“As far as I am concerned, all the traditional rulers of Borno, including district heads, village heads and religious scholars, have all agreed and accepted that reconciliation is a welcome development for all of us.”
The monarch urged authorities to work together ‘deeply’ with local government councils, district and village heads in the peace building processes.
The Commissioner of Home Affairs, Information and Culture, Alhaji Babakura Abba Joto, said a total of 6,000 former combatants and their associates had so far surrendered but would not be reintegrated into the civil society until they were profiled and deradicalised.
Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zuwaira Gambo, said most of the women who surrendered were not directly involved in the conflict; but forced to live in the insurgents’ enclave.