Community kick against reintegration of pardoned Boko Haram members

Community kick against reintegration of pardoned Boko Haram members

Some residents of various communities in Borno state are kicking against the reintegration of repentant Boko Haram members into their communities.

In July, 602 ex-Boko Haram members were said to have completed a de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration (DRR) programme based on the operation safe-corridor that was implemented in 2016.

Residents have been heard saying the idea would be a difficult one to accept. 

“From day one, Maiduguri people have never liked the idea of reintegrating the terrorists back to the community,” one of the residents said. 

“The reason is simple. It means they are likely to come in contact with people who slaughtered members of their family and friends in their presence and they are expected not to think about it?

“They are expected to agree for these people to be with them in society? How do you expect us to live with the killers of our parents? Those who attacked us and burnt down our houses?” 

Shettima Mustapha, another resident who took to Facebook, said one of the ex-Boko Haram members was brought into a community where one of the recently killed humanitarian workers came from. 

Five humanitarian workers abducted in Bornu state were recently executed by the suspected insurgents.

“Today, we woke up to the news that one notorious Boko Haram member, known as Mallam Yawu, came back to Shehuri South community. Reportedly, he came back with some papers believed to be government clearance papers, possibly, from those responsible for reintegration of repentant Boko Haram members,” Mustapha wrote. 

 “The reaction of the people of that community was as expected — a total rejection and condemnation of the authorities who released him back to the community. 

“From what we are learning, he is either taken away by security operatives or CJTF, perhaps, looking at the pulse of the general public about his sudden reappearance.

“And don’t forget, only yesterday, a video of the gruesome murder of the humanitarian aid workers was released by the BHT. One of those killed, Abdurahman Bulama, was from the same Shehuri South community where this terrorist is being planned to be reintegrated. The same sad story is true of almost every community in Borno State.” 

Usman Alibe, another resident, also narrated how a similar scenario played out in his area in Bama some months back “when a female member of the dreaded group returned home with a full security backing”.

According to him, the insistence of the government on this matter “will not augur well for our fragile peace in the towns and city centre”.

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