Borno Govt Confirms Release of 1400 ‘Repentant’ Boko Haram Terrorists

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Borno state commissioner for Information Babakura Jato has confirmed the release of 1400  repentant Boko Haram terrorists.

The terrorists who went through a rehabilitation programme codenamed Operation Safe Corridor have been set free to integrate into the society and begin new lives.

Borno Govt Confirms Release of 1400 'Repentant' Boko Haram Terrorists
Repentant Boko Haram terrorist in rehabilitation centre cafeteria

Jato said the insurgents were released in three tranches, saying most of the people released are not terrorists but relatives of terrorists and others who were found at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The commissioner made this known during an interview with Punch. In his words,

 

“There have been a series of releases. They were released in three tranches. The first set was released during Governor Shettima’s time while two sets have been released under Prof. Zulum.

“The total number of persons released is 1,400. Out of the 1,400, the majority of them are cleared suspects. These were people who were suspected of being members of Boko Haram and it was discovered that they were not.”

Borno Govt Confirms Release of 1400 'Repentant' Boko Haram Terrorists
Repentant Boko Haram terrorists learning the art of Fashion Design

Commissioner Jato further disclosed that some of these repentant soldiers faced stigmatization from community members upon their release and this prompted the government to relocate them to other communities where they were provided with the support required to start their lives afresh.

“We have had cases whereby people in the community rejected them. So, they return to the rehab centres and we change their location.”

 

The Herald recalls that Vice President of Military Widows Association,  Edith Opesanmi condemned the release of the ‘repentant’ terrorists who walk free after causing the country much pain and loss. Some of the crimes they committed include the murder of gallant soldiers in cold blood, rape and killing of young children, abductions and beheading innocent citizens with the majority being Christians.

 

She stated that it was unfair that these terrorists are released and taken care of by the government, which implies the murdered soldiers lost their lives in vain.

 

However, the President of the association, Mrs Vera Aloko said the widows are in full support of the operation provided that peace would be restored to the nation.

“It is true that our Vice-President, Mrs Idith Opesanmi, faulted the Federal Government’s decision to release more repentant Boko Haram members. However, she spoke in her personal capacity and not for all military widows. We support the government and any policy that can restore peace.”

 

It would be recalled that Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai in a recent statement said, it is difficult to change the orientation of the terrorists who have been taught to disdain people who do not share their beliefs and Islamic principles.

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