BASHIRU ADEWUNMI AGUNLOYE
Recently about 1,400 repentant “Boko Haram” suspects, who were previously in detention, were all released and the plan now is to resettle them into the society.
Also as a follow up to the release of the suspects, a bill for the establishment of an agency for Boko Haram repent ants was sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Gaidam, who is immediate past Governor of Yobe State. This action was trailed with reactions from different groups such as the Yoruba Socio-Cultural organisation, Afenifere and Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF). Particularly, the Afenifere condemned and stated that the move is “impunity taken too far”.
The position of those opposing the move by both the military and the Senator that is sponsoring the bill is that how can amnesty be accorded to criminals who killed, maimed, rapped and destroyed innocent people’s lives and properties when Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province war is still ongoing with the massacre and killings of innocent Nigerians?
According to an elder statesman, an Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebabjo, “it is an insult to Nigerians and scandalous to the National Assembly. How can anybody think of feeding criminals and enemies of the state? This is impunity taken too far”.
Also the president of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Alhaji Yerima Shettima said: “The proposal is stupid and the sponsor of such a bill needs to be thoroughly investigated.”
According to him, “When the soldiers that are risking their lives to contain the insurgents are crying over poor welfare package and the Senate is debating how to grant amnesty to the suspects. That speaks a lot about the characters ruling us. Nigerians must be ready to interrogate the intention of the person that sponsored such a bill.”
In a country where the victims of the notorious Boko Haram terrorist group and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) are still suffering at the various Internally Displaced Camps without adequate provision of their immediate needs, where many school girls kidnapped and abducted by the insurgents are still missing, where many lives of innocent Nigerians have been taken in a wicked manner, where many military personnel have been killed without any solution in sight, it will be ungodly to say that an amnesty should be given to the terrorists..
In Nigeria Boko Haram insurgency, herdsmen carnage, kidnapping and police brutality have become a day light monster terrorising Nigeria as an entity.
However for any reasonable person to recommend the release or amnesty for the repentant Boko Haram suspects at this time in Nigeria is ridiculous.
What are the assurances that those 1,400 repentant Boko Haram suspects released and as well as resettled are not going to be security risk to Nigeria?
Although, according to researchers at the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge ,”Long -term Imprisonment Changes People to the Core”. But there is proof that the case in Nigeria is different because we have seen in many occasions where many imprisoned criminals after serving their jail terms and release into the society often time returned back to their criminality activities even more notoriously.
Unlike in other countries of the world where prisons are serving as reformation centres for transformation of criminals to become responsible and good citizens, here in Nigeria criminals after serving their jail terms become hardened criminals when released to the society.
Therefore, it is a great risk for the Nigeria that is facing serious security challenges to risk releasing Boko Haram suspects back to the society talk less of muted the idea of wanting to establish an agency for Boko Haram repentant.
Boko Haram and their likes deserve no sympathy because their activities are evil, wicked, barbaric and unacceptable in our society.
.Agunloye, a public affairs analyst, could be reached via [email protected]
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