Professor Ibrahim Umara of the university of Maiduguri has criticized the federal government’s rehabilitation and resettlement agenda for the northeast, describing it as Eurocentric ideology not applicable to the northeast situation.
Prof Umara also called on the Federal government to set up monitoring and evaluation team against the activities of the humanitarian actors in the northeast, so as to achieve the desired goal of rehabilitating the victims of insurgency.
He said this on Wednesday while delivering a keynote address at the Citizens Dialogue On Northeast Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement workshop organized by Social Action in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.
Speaking on the topic ” x-raying Federal Government Rehabilitation and Resettlement Agenda (What should Reconstruction and Resettlement Agenda look like?), Professor Umara urged the federal government to take cognizance of the realities of the situation on ground in initiating the programme.
” For now, the Rehabilitation is a strait jacket that emanated from Eurocentric ideology. And you know in Europe, they have different ideas, different approaches to circumstances. Most issues of rehabilitation in Europe and America are centered on rehabilitating drug addicts, smugglers, armed robbers and those that engaged in deviant activities.
” So, it is easy for these people in the custody of the government to be rehabilitated, trained and reinstated back into the society, but in our own situation, these people we said we are going to rehabilitate are not even in the custody of government.
” The ones they said have surrendered might be people that were cut off during exchange of fire between the Military and the insurgents. And if the insurgents want peace and want to be de- radicalized, they should lay down their arms and come out from their enclaves.
” They cannot continue to unleash terror killing people in various communities and still want rehabilitation. De-radicalizing the insurgents and empowering them, while their victims are still languishing in the various IDPs camps across the state is like Justice by gun,” professor Umara said.
Umara decried a situation where terrorist who had killed his father, mother and uncles to become so called hero, will be taken to a comfort zone with skill acquisition, while the children and women, he had orphaned and widowed are taking refuge in displaced persons Camps.
He suggested that government should rather place those of the insurgents who were forcefully conscripted on lighter punishment while those of them that are the actual terrorists be made to face the full wrath of the law.