According to reports, more than 1,000 Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered to the Nigerian military in the past two years after their camps in the North East were targeted by troops. However, some of the repentant insurgents have expressed concerns about their current situation.
In an interview with Arise News, Bukar Mala, a former terrorist commander, highlighted the poor quality of the food provided to them, stating that it has become increasingly difficult for them to consume the meals. Mala called on the government to prioritize their welfare and consider providing them with the necessary capital to establish their own businesses.
Another repentant terrorist, Umar Bashir, raised concerns about the lack of proper security in the camp during the radicalization program. He appealed to the government to assist them in their situation to prevent them from returning to the forests and engaging in terrorist activities after rehabilitation. Bashir revealed that he is currently facing threats on his life from active combatants in the bush, who accuse him of causing a decline in their power.
Ahmed Shehu, the Chairman of the North East Civil Society, emphasized the importance of a robust monitoring and evaluation process for the repentant insurgents. He highlighted the need for engagement, monitoring, and evaluation to ensure the effectiveness of the rehabilitation efforts and address any issues that may arise.
It is clear that the concerns raised by the repentant insurgents highlight the challenges and complexities involved in the process of reintegrating former terrorists into society. A comprehensive framework that includes welfare support, skill-building programs, security measures, and ongoing monitoring is crucial to ensure their successful reintegration and prevent a return to violence.