Army Hands Over 600 Rehabilitated Terrorists   To  Borno And Yobe States Government For Resettlement

By Suleiman Umaru

Ahead of the February 25, Presidential and National Assembly elections,   the Nigerian Army, under the close watch of Farouk Yahaya, a Lt. General,  appears to  have concluded arrangement  to hand over  613   rehabilitated  Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, fighters  to Borno and Yobe  states government for resettlement.

Not many people are not happy over the Army plans  to reintegrate  the repentant terrorists who were said to  have undergone  ‘’de-radicalisation  into the Nigerian  society because of past experience  where  some of the  ex-ex-terrorists who had renounced their membership of BokoHaram and ISWAP  Groups still had contacts with their former Colleagues that they were given them clues of schedule of movement of Operation Hadin Kai , Troops.

The double edged ex-terrorists, for instance,   who were said to have sneaked out  from Bama, a fishing town,  Government Girls Secondary School, in Borno state, where they were resettled , were said to have sneaked out of the Community to lead an attack against the Operation Hadin Kai, Troops  but were dealt with some BokoHaram members  in Daula , a market  Community  located in the outskirts  of Goniri  village.

Recall that , Nasir El-Rufai, a former minister of Federal Capital Territory, FCT, during Olusegun Obasanjo’s A dministration  and now governor of Kaduna state and Christopher  Musa,  a Major General  and the Theatre Commander of Operation Hadin Kai,  were said to  have at different times  in  the past expressed  doubt  over the sincerity  of the ex-terrorists to be reintegrated into the society but that was how far they could go.   

Timothy Avele, a security Expert, reported by Punch Newspapers in an Interview on Friday , January 7, 2023, had made the security agencies  operatives to understand that terrorists, whether repented or those  still actively engaged in terrorism operations  cannot’’ be trusted because they are killers’’.

Lt. Gen. Yahaya: CoAS

He was said to have made it clear to the Nigerian government that it is wrong’’ to release the so-called ex-terrorists into the Borno and Yobe societies, when  the war is still  raging on in the two states.  His worries was that ‘’there is no way the government  or Lt. General Yahaya, led Nigerian Army  could be sure of their loyalty  to the country instead of their former  Terrorists Commanders who are still in the battlefield?.  Avele had made it that   the ex-terrorist could easily sneak out to do the biddings of their previous Commanders because there is no one on ground to monitor their movement.

The security was said to have repeatedly said , ‘’neither   the government  nor the Army  can truly  monitor these ex-terrorists’’, noting that the country do not have the technology  like the North American country of the United States , US,  or United Kingdom, UK,  to do so currently.  

Aware that there is no guarantees that the ex-terrorists would be good citizens, no matter their deradicailisation in their various resettlement camps, Sani Usman, a retired Brigadier General, would want the government ‘’ to develop   a unique modality for dealing with issues of the repentant terrorists to avoid a repeat of past experience.

But many believe that the Nigerian government appears to be in a hurry to reintegrate the ex-terrorists into the Borno and Yobe societies, particular, because of the upcoming 2023, general elections to win the support of the people.

  Anthony  Atolagbe, a retired Major General and former Commander  of Operation Safe Haven  had said that with the deployment of technology  to help in providing  security in Nigeria  during the elections, it would be very difficult  for the ex-terrorists who may  have the mindset  to disrupt the elections to do so without being apprehended , by the security agencies personnel.

Prof. Yakubu : INEC Chairman

 Indeed, the high level of insecurity in several parts of the country, has kept Nigerians wondering ‘’if the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, led, Independent National Electoral Commission,  INEC,with all the Presidential  backings and provision  of adequate  security personnel on to provide security would  be able ‘’to conduct  a fair, safe and credible elections in these flash point areas’’.  

 Given that the anti-terrorism war is still ongoing in the north eastern states of Boorno, Yobe and the north western states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna and Katsina, home state of  the Katsina state of Buhari ,including the north central state of Niger,  and several other parts of Nigeria, may have informed why Lt. Gen. Yahaya, the  Chief of Army Staff, CoAS, had told those seeking recruitment into the Army  ‘’not to see it as an employment opportunity but a call to defend ’’ the territorial integrity  and sovereignty  of Nigeria’’.He was said to have also described it as ‘’a call to national service, as it requires selflessness and if need be, the supreme sacrifice’’.  

It was not surprising why he had said that ’’it not anal l comers affair but for people  who are not only physically  and medically fit’’  ,but also   ‘’mentally and emotional stable  to handle weapons in the battlefield’’.

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