Babagana Zulum, the governor of Borno State, has said it is extremely difficult to decide what to do with repentant Boko Haram members.
Many Boko Haram terrorists have recently surrendered to the military as the Federal Government continues to ramp up its offensive against the insurgency in the North-East.
“Accepting Boko Haram has the risk of seriously offending the feelings of victims with the potential of civil rebellion,” the governor noted while addressing military officers and community leaders in Bama and Gwoza, a statement issued by his spokesperson, Isa Gusau, 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.”
But not accepting the terrorists could lead to “an endless war”, he added.
Zulum said his government will engage in high-level consultations – including with victims of crimes perpetrated by the insurgents – to “come up with a workable framework.”
What Zulum said
“We (in Borno) are in a very difficult situation over the ongoing surrender by insurgents.
“We have to critically look between two extreme conditions and decide our future.
“We have to choose between an endless war or to cautiously accept the surrendered terrorists which is really painful and difficult for anyone that has lost loved ones, difficult for all of us and even for the military whose colleagues have died and for volunteers.
“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. We don’t know the whereabouts of thousands of others, we don’t know whether they are alive or dead.
“In these 12 years, millions have been made homeless and many wealthy farmers, transporters, and others have been rendered poor.
“In these years, we were able to cultivate maybe around 3% of the arable land, and as a result our people became dependent on food aid amid donor fatigue and potential food insecurity, infact the repercussions of the Boko Haram crisis are enormous and as someone who has been involved with assessment of the impacts and rebuilding efforts in the last seven years, I am in position to know the endless negative impact the Boko Haram has made in Borno.”