Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, has noted that accepting ‘repentant’ Boko Haram has the risk of seriously offending the feelings of victims with the potential of civil rebellion.
He, however, warned that rejecting repentant Boko Haram members, who surrendered to troops, may force them to join the Islamic State in West Africa Province
He, therefore called for a unified decision by stakeholders on how to respond to the large number of repentant Boko Haram members.
He emphasized the ongoing surrender of Boko Haram fighters had left Borno State with two extremely difficult situations that required diverse stakeholders, including representatives of attacked communities, to come together and critically review the pros and cons of the surrender, in order to agree on a well thought-out framework.
The governor spoke on Saturday in Bama and Gwoza, while addressing military officers and community leaders.
Zulum, according to his spokesman, Mallam Isa Gusau, was in Gwoza and Bama local government areas for humanitarian and developmental activities.
He later addressed military commanders at Brigades in Gwoza and Bama, and community leaders at the palaces of the Emir of Gwoza and Shehu of Bama, with the same message on the urgent need to decide how to react to the expected influx of repentant Boko Haram members back into the society.
“Accepting Boko Haram has the risk of seriously offending the feelings of victims with the potential of civil rebellion,” he said.
“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.”