Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, has reaffirmed his stand against blanket amnesty for repentant Boko Haram fighters.
A few days ago, the Nigerian Army released a statement, saying the recent offensive operations by troops of Operation Hadin Kai have led Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists in the North-East to surrender en masse, a report which stirred various reactions as to what becomes of the ‘repentant’ terrorists.
Speaking on the development as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Senator Ndume noted that this did not come to him as a surprise. He is, however, of the opinion that more must be done to the insurgents other than the pat on the back which seems to be the norm at the moment.
“It didn’t come to me as a surprise actually, because I’ve been saying for a long time that the armed forces and other security agencies of the country are handicapped, otherwise, they have the capacity and the ability to prosecute this war.
“Now that what they need is given to them, you can see the results within this short time. And I’m expecting more.
“It is only that, as I have said before, there shouldn’t be blanket amnesty and pampering treatment to those who have surrendered,” the lawmaker said.
‘The First Step’
According to him, what needs to be done now is to ensure that the seemingly contrite insurgents are carefully profiled without any rush to have them return to their communities.
The legislator is of the opinion that the army should be more focused on ensuring that the Boko Haram war is brought to an end even faster than it has been predicted in various quarters.
Ndume went on to state that as the war draws to a denouement, what the nation must begin to turn its attention to should be the resettlement of those who have been displaced over time.
For him, it is after the citizens who bore the brunt of this conflict have been satisfactorily resettled, that the nation can begin to talk about how to reintegrate those who have wreaked havoc on the nation and are now pleading for mercy.
“The first step after getting them is the resettlement of people, now that the war is getting to an end or is almost ending. Then, we talk about profiling, investigating, and interrogating those that have surrendered.”
The lawmaker expressed confidence in the new leadership of the armed forces, emphasising that the well-coordinated inter-agency cooperation between the country’s security agencies will yield favourable results for all.
“I think it is a welcome development and I have confidence that more is to be seen with the new leadership and the new cooperation,” he said. “Just as we have been criticising the armed forces, that they are not doing enough, now that they are doing enough, and there is hope, and there is light at the end of the tunnel, there is a need for Nigerians to come out to support the military by encouraging them, and commending them for what they have done.”