Retired Soldiers Warns FG on Rehabilitating Repentant Terrorists

Ansaru Terrorists Ansaru Terrorists

Retired soldiers have issued a warning to the Federal Government regarding its decision to rehabilitate and reintegrate repentant terrorists who have completed the government’s deradicalisation programme, Operations Safe Corridor.

The programme, initiated under former president Muhammadu Buhari, has processed over 4,000 ex-Boko Haram members.

According to the Punch Newspaper, in Gombe State, specifically in September 2023, 2,168 former Boko Haram members underwent the De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration process at the Kwami Local Government Area over the past eight years.

In January 2023, 613 rehabilitated terrorists were set to be handed over to state governors by military authorities.

However, in July 2022, some ex-Boko Haram members, accused of maintaining contact with their former associates and providing intelligence, were among 800 individuals reintegrated into the Bama community in Borno State.

Reacting on the matter, a retired colonel, Hassan Stan-Labo, stated, “If we have mobilised and brought them (terrorists) out for rehabilitation, it is already too late; there is nothing we can do but to go the whole hog; go through the entire demobilisation, de-radicalisation and rehabilitation.

“However, if I were the commander-in-chief, my instructions would have been: ‘Don’t bring anybody for any damn rehabilitation; you bloody well will pay the price for whatever you have done on the battle front’.

“You want a battle, come get the battle. You have committed all kinds of atrocities and now, you turn around begging for forgiveness. We don’t have a responsibility to forgive you; we hasten your journey to heaven. Go and meet God and ask for penance. What do we tell the people in the displaced persons camps, who are not even getting the kind of treatment we are giving these guys?”

“We can have the biometrics of these guys and since fingerprints are used in the course of recruitment, we should be able to fish out those who may want to join the military. If we have a very effective intelligence network on the ground, this wouldn’t happen. I’m also aware that the Borno State Government is documenting their biometrics data. That’s a very good starting point,” he added.

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