Terrorists Who Tried To Kill Me Still Legally Active In Nigeria – Weekly Quotes

A photo collage used to illustrate the story.

 

The security of lives and properties remains the main responsibility of all governments in the world and concerns have continued to grow regarding operations of various groups threatening global peace.

This concern plays a major role in building our quotes for the past week. While Nigeria still battles to get rid of bandits and the Boko Haram sect, President Erdogan of Turkey hinted within the week that there might be yet another group to worry about.

Below are major quotes from last week, selected from some of the stories we have published, that mirror the greater phase of what transpired between October 17 to October 23; they are not just showcasing Nigeria’s challenges but what the world is grappling with.

1. “The perpetrator of the heinous failed coup of July the 15th, FETO, is still illegally active in Nigeria, and we are continuously sharing our intelligence with the Nigerian interlocutors and authorities.”

President Muhammadu Buhari received the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the State House, Abuja.

 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey says members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) that attempted to push him out of power on July 15, 2016 through a failed coup are currently in Nigeria.

 

2. “Nigeria is an important strategic partner of China in Africa. China-Nigeria cooperation has been the pacesetter of China-Africa cooperation.’’

This video grab taken on May 18, 2020 from the website of the World Health Organization shows Chinese President Xi Jinping delivering a speech via video link at the opening of the World Health Assembly virtual meeting from the WHO headquarters in Geneva, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. World Health Organization / AFP.

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping says his country will use the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Nigeria to promote a strategic partnership to new heights.

 

3. “The launch of the eNaira is a culmination of several years of research work by the Central Bank of Nigeria in advancing the boundaries of payments system in order to make financial transactions easier and seamless for every strata of the society.”

File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria reveals that President Muhammadu Buhari will unveil the eNaira on Monday.

 

4. “Abdullahi Umar Usman is by way of financial transaction connected to Surajo Abubakar Muhammad (who was sentenced to life imprisonment in UAE on charges of financing terrorism [Boko Haram]). This report shows the nexus between separatists’ agitation, terrorism financing, and disruptions of peace in the country.”

A file photo of Mr Sunday Adeyemo.

 

The Nigerian Government says it has established a connection between Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, and a firm being investigated for terrorism.

 

5. “I say with all confidence that I do not think that the Nigerian Government possesses the political will to end police brutality because they benefit from our indignity; they lack proactive action, political will, and implementation of policies.”

ENDSARS Advocate, Rinu Oduala

 

#EndSARS advocate, Rinu Oduala, criticizes the Nigerian Government, saying it lacks the political will to end police brutality across the nation.

 

6. “One year later, and despite ample opportunities for the families of those allegedly killed and those alleging a massacre to present evidence, there has been none: No bodies, no families, no convincing evidence, nothing. Where are the families of those who were reportedly killed at the toll gate? Did they show up at the Judicial Panel of Inquiry? If not, why?”

A file photo of the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed.

 

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed claims there is no evidence to show that any protester was killed at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020.

 

7. “Speak out against the invasion of communities in Nigeria by your kinsmen from foreign countries.”

File photo of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

 

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom asks Fulanis, indigenous in Nigeria, to speak out against the invasion of communities in Nigeria by their kinsmen from other nations.

 

8. “Yesterday (Wednesday), we saw a protest in Lagos and everybody that was arrested in connection with the protest has been released, except an individual that was caught with dangerous weapons and who confessed to the police that he joined the protest to cause mayhem.”

In this photo taken on August 23, 2021, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, briefs reporters on the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

 

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, says he has ordered the release of those arrested during the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests in the state.

 

9. “Any politician caught encouraging illicit drug use won’t be spared.”

File photo of NDLEA Chairman, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa (rtd)

 

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Buba Marwa, warns politicians against sponsoring or encouraging the use of illicit drugs.

 

10. ‘‘As a positive outcome, eight major Agreements/MoUs on a number of the key sectors including Energy, Defense Industry, Mining and HydroCarbons among others were signed today. We have agreed that implementation is to commence immediately.”

President Erdogan and President Buhari exchange pleasantries

 

Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina revealed that Nigeria and Turkey have signed eight major Agreements and Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) on a number of the key sectors.

 

11. “Politics is not something that should cause anybody to lose his or her life. We are moving towards the electioneering period, and I just want to use this opportunity to appeal to you all.”

A photo combination of Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde and former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose.
A photo combination of Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde and former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose.

 

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde announces an end to the political difference between him and the former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose.

13. “It will be a flash in the pan. Some legislators will get pissy. And then in a few weeks, they will move onto something else. Meanwhile, we are printing money in the basement, and we are fine.”

This handout image obtained November 4, 2019 courtesy of Facebook, shows the new company logo for Facebook. Eric BARADAT / FACEBOOK / AFP

 

A former Facebook worker reportedly tells US authorities that the platform has put profits before stopping problematic content, weeks after another whistle-blower helped stoke the firm’s latest crisis with similar claims.

 

13. “I have ordered our foreign minister to declare these 10 ambassadors as persona non grata as soon as possible.”

President Muhammadu Buhari, his wife, Dr Aisha M Buhari, President of Turkey H.E Recep Tayyip Erdogan accompanied by his wife during the Visit at the State House Abuja.

 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tells his foreign minister to expel the ambassadors of 10 countries including Germany and the United States who appealed for the release of a jailed civil society leader.

 

Boko Haram Terrorists In 10 Gun Trucks Attack Yobe Military Base

A file photo of two armed men.

 

A Nigerian military base in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State has been reportedly attacked by armed persons suspected to be members of Boko Haram.

Residents told Channels Television that the terrorists drove into Katarko village in 10 gun trucks and attacked the military formation, where they engaged the security operatives at the base in a heavy shooting.

The residents were forced to run into the nearby bushes for safety but a military source said the troops repelled the attack.

This is the third time the community has been attacked by the suspected insurgents this year alone.

READ ALSO: ICC Prosecutor Seeks Investigation Into Abduction Of Nigerian Schoolchildren

Katarko is located 20 kilometers South-East of Damaturu, the state capital and has witnessed frequent attacks by the insurgents.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force under Operation Hadin Kai has continued its onslaught on terrorist targets on islands and localities around the Lake Chad area.

The latest attacks were carried out earlier this week, following intelligence reports that about 20 boats were seen conveying between five and seven suspected Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists to an island in the Lake Chad area and Malam Fatori, the headquarters of Abadam Local Government Area of Borno State.

According to the Air Force, the mission by the air component of Operation Hadin Kai confirmed the high concentration of terrorist and insurgent elements hibernating in the Lake Chad general area.

It noted that the air operations will be sustained until the area is rid of all terrorists and insurgents.

This is coming about two weeks after the military authorities confirmed the death of ISWAP’s leader.

ISWAP has not given any confirmation of al-Barnawi’s death and the army has claimed before to have killed jihadist commanders only for them to reappear.

More than two million people have been displaced by Nigeria’s conflict since it began in 2009, and the violence has spread over the borders to Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Six Women, Nine Children Escape From Boko Haram Captivity

Some of the rescued victims.

 

Six women and nine children kidnapped in the North-East have escaped their captors, walking for six days through the bush to freedom, an official said Monday.

The 15 hostages were seized separately from the farming villages of Takulashi in Borno state’s Chibok district and Cofure in neighbouring Adamawa’s Hong district several months ago.

Chibok was the scene of the 2014 abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls by Boko Haram which earned the jihadist group global notoriety.

Three of the hostages along with their five children were seized during a raid on Takulashi in October last year, while the other three with their four children were abducted from Cofure in May, according to Zuwaira Gambo, Borno’s women affairs commissioner.


RELATED

Bandits Attack Sokoto Village Market, Kill 20 – Sources

Bandits Attack Zamfara Community, Kill 14 People

 Dozens Rescued From Illegal Rehabilitation Center In Kano


 

A Display Of Resilience

The North-East region has witnessed a decade-long conflict.

 

The hostages, including an eight-month pregnant woman from Cofure, “trekked for six days” from Buni Yadi forest in nearby Yobe state to Damboa town in Borno, a distance of around 90 kilometres (56 miles), Gambo said.

“They have displayed resilience, trekking in the bush for six days,” Gambo said while presenting the escaped hostages to Borno state governor Babagana Zulum and Christian leaders.

It was not clear who kidnapped the women and children, but Buni Yadi is a known enclave for the IS-linked Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), which split from Boko Haram in 2016 to become a dominant force in the region.

Zulum expressed delight receiving the hostages after they “fell prey to Boko Haram terrorists,” a name officials use for both groups.

“We thank God Almighty for rescuing and protecting you from the hands of terrorists,” Zulum said.

Boko Haram and rival ISWAP are notorious for kidnapping women.

They have been engaged in a 12-year old conflict that has killed more than 40,000 people and displaced around two million.

 

Bandits Are Terrorists In Reality, Says Senator Bulkachuwa

 

Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa says bandits are no different from terrorists, insisting that both groups operate the same way. 

“We gave them the name bandit probably to just soft pedal because terrorism in the international arena is regarded as the most heinous crime that any group of people can engage in,” he told Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

“They are terrorists in reality. What else are they? Anybody that does not allow people rest, what is he?”

The Senator is one of the latest high-profile Nigerians to have joined calls for bandits and their sponsors to be tagged as terrorists.


Related:

Declare Bandits As Terrorists, Senate Tells Buhari
These Are Not Just Bandits, They Have Aligned With Terrorists – Gov Bello


‘Who Is A Bandit?’

A screen grab of Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics on October 3rd, 2021.

 

Earlier on Sunday, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana called on the media and Nigerians to stop referring to the criminals as bandits, insisting that they are terrorists.

According to him,  the government was “quick to proscribe” those who kidnapped students from Chibok in Borno State, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and others as terrorists but has continued to treat banditry “lightly”.

“But for reasons best known to the Federal Government,” he said, “the criminal elements who are currently involved in the brutal killing of innocent people and abduction of thousands of people including primary school pupils in the North West Zone are called bandits and not terrorists.”

The lawmaker concurred with the human rights activist.

“It is just giving them their right name,” he said, days after the House of Representatives and the Senate urged President Muhammadu Buhari to brand bandits and their sponsors as terrorists.

“They should be declared terrorists. After all, who is a terrorist and who is a bandit?”

According to the lawmaker representing Bauchi North, both bandits and kidnappers should be tagged as terrorists. This, he believes, will help in the fight against criminality in the country. 

“The bandits, the kidnappers, they are all terrorists,” he maintained. “They should be declared same so that whichever country they go to, they would be regarded as such.”

Boko Haram Has Captured 500 Communities In Shiroro – LG Chairman

 

Boko Haram terrorists have captured over 500 communities in eight wards of Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.

This is according to the chairman of the council, Hon Suleiman Chukuba, who briefed journalists in the state on Friday.

He listed the affected areas as Manta, Gurmana, Bassa-Kokki, Allawa, Kurebe, Kushaka, Kwati, Chukuba and Galadima Kogo.

According to him, the insurgents have attempted to incorporate and recruit residents of the communities to become Boko Haram members.

Mr Chukuba, who lamented the situation, also said the terrorists are trying to equip the people to fight against the government.

“They incorporate the people of those communities by telling them they have arms and money to give them so they can assist them in fighting the government,” he added.

A photo combination of Niger map and Chairman of Shiroro LG Chairman, Suleiman Chukuba.

 

He said that Boko Haram insurgents have proclaimed that they do not want conventional primary and secondary schools, adding that their preference is the Islamic school.

“Shiroro Local Government has an uncountable number of Boko Haram [fighters],” the council boss explained.

“I have the proof being that I am the Executive Chairman, the Chief Security Officer of the local government. When they go to the various communities, what they tell them is that ‘We don’t want primary, secondary schools. We only want Islamiyya schools.’”

The council leader, who is worried over Boko Haram’s incursion, is appealing to the Federal Government to bring more security personnel to the area to help dislodge the criminals who have made Shiroro their home.

The recent development is coming six months after the state governor, Abubakar Sani Bello raised an alarm that Boko Haram terrorists have hoisted their flag in Kaure village, Shiroro Local Government Area.

The governor had said the insurgents forcibly took the wives of some of the villagers for themselves.

Villagers Flee As Boko Haram Attacks Yobe Community

A file photo of two armed men.

 

Suspected Boko Haram insurgents on Sunday attacked Babbangida in Yobe State. The incident, which caused many of the villagers to flee, is coming one month after the terrorists launched an assault on the community. 

Although authorities are yet to confirm the latest attack on the headquarters of Tarmuwa Local Government Area, a resident of the community, Audu Ali, told Channels Television on the phone that there was a heavy gun battle between the military and the suspected Boko Haram members.

Babbangida, which is located 50 kilometres away from Damaturu the state capital, was last attacked on August 25, 2021.

The military had recovered a Toyota Hilux from the attackers after the assault.  

Sunday’s incident is one of the many attacks on communities in the North East state which has continued to suffer from onslaughts by Boko Haram terrorists.

The insurgents, who usually come in their large numbers, have also sacked some villages – including Geidam which is the hometown of the Inspector General of Police Usman Baba Alkali – hoisting their flags.

They have also attacked telecommunication facilities in the state.

RELATED: [Boko Haram] 11 Questions Trailing Amnesty For ‘Repentant’ Terrorists

Map of Borno State.

 

Yobe is not the only state suffering from the insurgents’ attack.

They have also attacked telecommunication facilities and targeted power stations in Borno State.

On multiple occasions, they have vandalized power towers, cutting off many communities from the national grid.

In spite of these, Nigeria’s security forces and the Federal Government maintain that they are recording success in the fight against the terrorists.

According to the Nigerian Army, due to sustained onslaughts from troops, the insurgents are surrendering and embracing amnesty.

In August, the spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu said the Chief Bomb Expert of the terrorist group known as Musa Adamu a.k.a Mala Musa Abuja and his second in command, Usman Adamu a.k.a Abu Darda along with their families and followers, surrendered to the troops in Bama Local Government Area of the state.

He put the number of the surrendered insurgents at 335 fighters, 746 women and children including one of the abducted Chibok girls.

The calls for amnesty to the surrendered terrorists have also drawn widespread criticisms from many quarters.

Critics say the move may further embolden criminals, insisting that those displaced by the decade-long war should first be resettled.

“The first step after getting them is the resettlement of people now that the war is getting to an end or is almost ending,” Senator Ali Ndume from Borno South told Channels Television in August.

“Then, we talk about profiling, investigating, and interrogating those that have surrendered, ” the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EU, UNICEF To Address Mental Health Of 5,129 Out-Of-School Children In Borno

UNICEF is among the most widespread and recognizable social welfare organizations in the world.
UNICEF is among the most widespread and recognizable social welfare organizations in the world.

 

As children continue to bear the brunt of the 12-year conflict in North East Nigeria, the European Union (EU) and UNICEF are working together to provide community-based psychosocial services aimed at improving children’s mental health.

This is according to a press statement jointly released by the European Union (EU), and UNICEF.

Through the EU-funded Support to Early Recovery and Resilience Project implemented by UNICEF, at least 5,129 conflict-affected; out-of-school children in six Local Government Areas of Borno State are receiving services including mental health support in safe spaces to strengthen their well-being, resilience, literacy skills and self-reliance.

The project also supports vulnerable children across Borno with protection and health services, vocational and basic literacy skills, and access to justice and security, under a holistic humanitarian intervention that has so far provided 15,552 out-of-school children with vocational training; 1,610 out-of-school children with literacy and numeracy skills and 5,194 children enrolled into integrated Qur’anic schools across focus LGAs.

UNICEF recently revealed that more than 300,000 children have been killed in Nigeria’s North East, while over one million have been displaced.

A recent Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) needs assessment of conflict-affected children in the region revealed pervasive psychosocial distress manifesting as high levels of anxiety, suspiciousness, anger, aggressiveness, and hyper-vigilance.

“The scars of conflict are real and enduring for children,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF’s Representative in Nigeria. “Too many children in North East Nigeria are falling victim to a conflict they did not start. Attacks against children must stop immediately. In the meantime, we are committed to working with our partners to provide psychosocial and other support to conflict-affected children so they can regain their childhood and restart their lives.’’

Stress and violence have been linked to poor brain development, depression and poor self-esteem, and children exposed to conflict and violence are at risk of long-term mental health and psychosocial issues, it added. 

READ ALSO: UNICEF ‘Horrified’ By Zamfara School Abduction

“Addressing the psychosocial well-being and development of children and teachers in conflict situations is an important part of re-establishing education provision and enabling children to re-enter schools safely,”  EU Head of Cooperation Cecile Tassin-Pelzer, noted.

UNICEF says it uses psychosocial support to help conflict-affected children manage their emotions, solve problems, deal with crises, and maintain healthy relationships.

The EU-funded programme in Borno State is a component of a three-year €10 million European Union Support to Early Recovery and Resilience package to support children, youths, and communities in Borno State.

Also included in the package is the provision of vocational skills and non-formal education to at least 25,000 young people, the construction and rehabilitation of learning centers and the strengthening of education management information systems.

Boko Haram War: Over 300,000 Children Killed In Northeast – UNICEF

UNICEF is among the most widespread and recognizable social welfare organizations in the world.
UNICEF is among the most widespread and recognizable social welfare organizations in the world.

 

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that more than 300,000 children lost their lives in the last 12 years because of the insurgency ravaging the North East region.

In its latest statistics, UNICEF disclosed that over one million people have been displaced within the period under review.

The agency further divulged that no fewer than 5,129 out-of-school children were currently battling mental health challenges as a result of the conflict in the North.

According to a statement jointly released by the European Union (EU) and UNICEF, they noted that a recent Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) needs assessment of conflict-affected children in north-east Nigeria; revealed pervasive psychosocial distress manifesting as high levels of anxiety, suspiciousness, anger, aggressiveness, and hyper-vigilance.

“The scars of conflict are real and enduring for children,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF’s Representative in Nigeria.

“Too many children in North East Nigeria are falling victim to a conflict they did not start. Attacks against children must stop immediately. In the meantime, we are committed to working with our partners to provide psychosocial and other support to conflict-affected children so they can regain their childhood and restart their lives.’’

Stress and violence have been linked to poor brain development, depression, poor self-esteem. Children exposed to conflict and violence are at risk of long-term mental health and psychosocial issues, it added.

As children continue to bear the brunt of the 12-year conflict in northeast Nigeria, the EU and UNICEF are working together to provide community-based psychosocial services aimed at improving children’s mental health.

Through the EU-funded Support to Early Recovery and Resilience Project implemented by UNICEF, at least 5,129 conflict-affected out-of-school children in Borno State, north-east Nigeria in six local government areas are receiving services including mental health support in safe spaces to strengthen their well-being, resilience, literacy skills, and self-reliance.

The project also supports vulnerable children across Borno with protection and health services, vocational and basic literacy skills, access to justice and security, under a holistic humanitarian intervention that has so far provided 15,552 out-of-school children with vocational training; 1,610 out-of-school children with literacy and numeracy skills and 5,194 children enrolled into integrated Qur’anic schools across focus LGAs.

According to the EU Head of Cooperation Cecile Tassin-Pelzer, “Addressing the psychosocial well-being and development of children and teachers in conflict situations is an important part of re-establishing education provision and enabling children to re-enter schools safely.”

UNICEF uses psychosocial support to help conflict-affected children manage their emotions, solve problems, deal with crises, and maintain healthy relationships.

The EU-funded programme in Borno State is a component of a three-year €10 million European Union Support to Early Recovery and Resilience package to support children, youths, and communities in Borno State.

Also included in the package is the provision of vocational skills and non-formal education to at least 25,000 young people, the construction and rehabilitation of learning centres, and the strengthening of education management information systems.

We Have Identified Terrorism Financiers In Nigeria – Malami

 

The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), says terrorism financiers in Nigeria have been identified. 

Although he did not mention those identified by the Federal Government, he gave an assurance that they would be prosecuted.

“As far as that aspect (of terrorism financing) is concerned, we have succeeded, one, in identifying those that are responsible for funding,” Malami told reporters on Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

He continued, “Two, blocking the leakages associated with the funding, and then, three, embarking on an aggressive investigation that is indeed impacting positively in terms of the fight against terrorism.”

He added that the investigations and arrests were being carried out in line with the country’s laws, insisting that due process would be followed. 

“One thing I can tell you for sure is that whatever we do, in terms of detention and arrest, is indeed backed by judicial processes,” the minister said. 

“We have acquired and obtained legitimate court orders, taking into consideration the facts and material proof of evidence presented before the court on account of which the court eventually exercises its discretion in terms of granting orders that we can have the suspects in custody pending the conclusion of the investigation.”


[RELATED]

Boko Haram: 11 Questions Trailing Amnesty For ‘Repentant’ Terrorists

Terrorism: Nigeria Is Not Interested In Naming, Shaming Anybody – Presidency

No Naming, No Shaming

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.
File photo: Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, in an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.

Malami’s comment comes amid calls for the Federal Government to name sponsors of terrorism in the country. 

But the Presidency had said the government was not interested in naming and shaming, but winning the war against the criminals.

“Naming and shaming will not be the motive, bringing malefactors to justice will be it,” the President’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, told Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday. 

“Nigeria is not interested in naming and shaming anybody. Rather, it wants to bring them to justice.

“You will see that the United Arab Emirates has given some names and the Attorney-General of the Federation has reacted to that matter, saying that in due course, all these people will have their dates in court. [Be] rest assured that these people will be dragged before justice and justice will have its way.”

Boko Haram: 11 Questions Trailing Amnesty For ‘Repentant’ Terrorists

Repentant Boko Haram insurgents.

 

In a bid to bring the protracted Boko Haram conflict to a finite end, various approaches have been applied and a myriad of inferences abound, even as counterterrorist and counterinsurgent measures fail to yield desired results.

It’s been 12 years of terror, tens of thousands have lost their lives and millions have been displaced; never would one have thought that the nation will consider offering amnesty to the individuals who maimed, kidnapped, and killed innocent citizens, spreading dismay and fear, especially within the North East.

However, that option is now on the table. This approach has even become more pronounced following the massive surrender by Boko Haram fighters, recently.

The amnesty exercise for “Repentant Boko Haram Members” has had its dogged critics and its prominent advocates, including the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, and Senate President Ahmad Lawan who believe that the recent surrender of Boko Haram insurgents is a welcome development which should be encouraged.

Beyond the debate for and against the exercise, here are 11 questions that many Nigerians need answers to.

Do the people really want them back?

Knowing the magnitude of damage that these terrorists have caused Nigerians over the years, there are some who ask if “I am sorry” will be enough to bring the people consolation.

How genuine is their surrender?

For those who have asked this question, the matter is simple; how can we be sure that the recent surrendering that has been witnessed is genuine, knowing that the Boko Haram war is not just a physical conflict, but a battle of ideologies. How soon will they go back to their rebellion?

What are the downsides to handing out the olive branch?

While it would seem that the amnesty exercise gives the nation an extra chance at ending the insurgency in no distant time, some are concerned that we have not weighed the negatives that can come from pardoning these terrorists who have prosecuted this war for about 12 years.

For instance, if this is a subtle way to get back into communities, are we ready for the damage they can cause? Another damage envisaged includes lasting hostilities between the communities and the penitent terrorists.

Will they be trained abroad?

This question was expected, in that, the first major amnesty exercise in Nigeria was handed to the Niger Delta Militants and asides monies paid, there were programmes for a good number of militants to be trained abroad.

Perhaps the argument here is that the militants were said to be fighting for the destruction of their lands and the suffering of the region following oil explorations, while the Boko Haram’s war is purely against western education, an idea which many have described as barbaric at best.

So the question is will these fighters who have “no real course” be allowed to train abroad while those whose lives have been shattered by their deeds are left without schools?

Why is amnesty a priority at this time? 

Senator Ali Ndume is perhaps the chief quizzer on this one.

In a recent interview, the lawmaker who serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army was of the opinion that it is only when the war has been won that we can begin to think about those who come out to surrender.

According to him, handing the terrorists an olive branch at this time will only encourage others to join the sect. He said having the exercise at this time is, at best, a misplacement of priority.

What about the IDPs?

Indeed, millions have become internally displaced due to the Boko Haram war and there is a question in line with Senator Ndume’s viewpoint and that is “what becomes of the IDPs?”

As the nation begins to look critically into the rehabilitation of the ex-radicals, people are wondering if this development is not stalling the push to have displaced Nigerians returned to their homes.

There are those who are of the opinion that the IDPs must at this moment remain the major focus of the government, not those who have inflicted pain on the nation. For these persons, the most important and yet to be answered question remains “when are the IDPs going home?”

In what way will the repentant fighters be settled?

Surrendering is one thing, de-radicalising those who have surrendered is another. However, what will they do after they have been de-radicalised?

A common answer would be to go back to the farms or acquire a skill, but one understands that insurgency is a multi-million-dollar affair and many of these individuals have been used to a certain level of comfort and power that the farms and workshops may not avail them at this time.

This begs the question; will they stay patient or will they ask for more?

Will they be allowed to enjoy all their civil rights?

By this question, we mean, are there legislations in place or being formulated to back their incorporation back into society?

Are there laws that expressly explain the nation’s stand on such very delicate issues as the stigma they may face, the kinds of jobs they are entitled to or may not be entitled to, and the positions they may hold in society?

Should they serve some jail term or some other punishment?

Here, the law regarding how to deal with prisoners of war will come in handy, but this must not be left to the understanding of a certain class. There is a need for the people to be enlightened as to why these individuals are not in jail or why they have not been charged to court.

There are many who are wondering where the justice has been served if all of a sudden, their past deeds are not put into consideration and the individuals made to face the law, even if it means that their sentences would be drastically shortened.

It is left for the authorities to enlighten the people further as regards punitive measures and the amnesty exercise.

Can they join the military?

Yes, this question would seem to have been linked with 8 above. However, the jobs talked about in the former, are not the same as getting into the military, for to be a part of the force is more than just a job.

This rather sensitive subject has stirred very heated debates severally; however, at each time the Defence Headquarters has always made it clear that there will be no absorption of deradicalised Boko Haram ex-fighters into the Nigerian military.

According to the Force, Nigeria has enough able-bodied men who are willing to serve their fatherland, and as such grafting repentant Boko Haram members is not an option.

Have they been yielding quality information?

For some Nigerians, one of the only bases upon which amnesty will be granted to any Boko Haram member should be based on the quality of information supplied.

It is expected in some quarters of the country that the fighters who are surrendering at the moment, are giving the authorities very vital information that will see the army do major damages to any Boko Haram/ISWAP strongholds that still exists today.

This way there could be a case made for them as regards helping the nation to quash the insurgency for good, maybe when this is done, then a course is charted for redemption.

Soldier Injured As Troops Repel Boko Haram Attack On Yobe Community

New Salary Scale Has Not Been Approved For Armed Forces – DHQ
A file photo of soldiers.

 

Troops of the Nigerian Army on Wednesday repelled an attack by suspected Boko Haram terrorists in Yobe State.

A reliable military source confirmed to Channels Television that the troops succeeded in recovering one Toyota van out of the three the attackers came with.

However, a soldier was injured and is receiving treatment after the insurgents stormed Babbangida, the headquarters of Tarmuwa Local Government Area of the north-eastern state.

Speaking to Channels Television via the telephone conversation, a resident Audu Yakubu, said that the attackers came in three Toyota vans and drove straight to the military base.

“Some villagers had earlier alerted us that they saw strange faces around the Babbangida axis,” he said. “So on sighting them coming, we all ran into the bush for safety.”

Another resident who craved anonymity said the attackers invaded the community at about 6.15pm and started shooting sporadically.

He, however, noted that the military engaged them in a gun battle.

Babbangida is located 50 kilometres away from Dapchi, where 110 students of the Government Girls Science Technical College were abducted in February 2018.

We Do Not Enlist Former Terrorists, Says Nigerian Army

Nigerian Army Begins 2020 Recruitment-Armyyyy
The Army says former terrorists won’t be recruited into the organization.

 

The Nigerian Army on Tuesday said it does not enlist former terrorists as speculated in some quarters. 

This is according to a communique by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu.

The Army spokesman noted that the statement is a reaction to a video making the rounds on the internet which attempted to “draw a conclusion from the collapse of the Afghan military and tried very hard to relate it to the ongoing surrender by the Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province terrorists in Nigeria”.

But the Army said that although the situation in Afghanistan calls for concerns, the security agency is not desperate and won’t recruit former terrorists. 

“There are teeming able-bodied Nigerians that are willing to join the NA and genuinely help in the fight against terrorism and other violent crimes,” the Army added. 

“The NA, therefore, is not desperate for prospective recruits to stoop so low and engage the services of former terrorists. As a general rule, it is not even recommended to absorb former fighters into the services of a regular military.”

“Surrendered terrorists will be received, processed, and passed to the appropriate government agencies saddled with the responsibility of handling them,” it further said. 

RELATED: Bandits Attack NDA, Kill Two Officers, Abduct One

[Boko Haram Surrender] It Should Not Be Blanket Amnesty And Pampering – Ndume

More Boko Haram Insurgents Surrender In Borno, Beg For Forgiveness

Troops Continue Humiliating Boko Haram Terrorists In Borno -Nigerian Army

While urging Nigerians to leave security matters for experts, the Army asked them to focus on contributing towards nation-building instead of engaging in a campaign of falsehood.

“The NA wishes to state that the campaign of falsehood embarked upon by some individuals who do not wish the nation well cannot distract its personnel from their resolve to bring an end to the violent crimes in the country,” General Nwachukwu’s communique stated.