Borno State stakeholders have called for thorough profiling of repentant Boko Haram terrorists to avoid releasing hardened members of the insurgents.
They also urged the seizure of arms used by the repentant terrorists and appealed to the federal and state governments to handle the issue of the repentant insurgents with care and within the ambit of the law.
The leaders spoke at a security and town-hall meeting hosted by Governor Babagana Zulum in Maiduguri on Sunday afternoon where they discussed the implications of the ongoing surrender by Boko Haram fighters.
The meeting came up with 16 resolutions which included: “That firearms be retrieved from all repentant insurgents while profiling is made stringent in order to avoid hasty release of hardened elements to the larger society.”
Zulum at the weekend said about 3,900 members of the Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered to troops in Borno and Cameroon.
Zulum said of the figure, 3,000 surrendered in Borno while he got report that about 900 others surrendered to authorities in Cameroon, respectively.
The governor said:” So far about 3,000 insurgents had surrendered, reports from Cameroon indicated that about 900 surrendered to the Cameroonian authorities.
“A team, comprising security agencies and other relevant organisations, had been constituted to profile the surrendered insurgents in line with international best practice.”
The stakeholders urged intensified military battle against ISWAP and for the federal government to quickly establish a world class centre with facilities for deradicalisation and rehabilitation of repentant insurgents to where they can be cautiously reintegrated after satisfactory rehabilitation.
The meeting, held at the multipurpose hall of Borno Government House, was attended by representatives of victims of Boko Haram attacks, National and State Assembly members, all traditional rulers led by Shehu of Borno, Borno elders, heads of security agencies, Muslim and Christian leaders, members of the academic community, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, youth and women groups, the labour unions, civil society groups, local and international NGOs, political parties and top government officials led by Governor Zulum.
All groups made frank presentations during the meeting before 16 resolutions were reached.
At the opening of the meeting, Governor Zulum asked the participants to be very open and analytical in their submissions looking at potential advantages, problems and implications of having repentant insurgents back.
In his submission, Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Elkanemi recounted that in many parts of the world matters like that end up with negotiations. The Shehu urged residents to consider genuine reconciliation in order to allow peace to reign in the state.
The Shehu urged traditional leaders to preach forgiveness and tolerance in their respective domains as a way forward.
Representing the National assembly, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume said, “Alhamdulillah, it is a welcome development that Boko Haram insurgents are surrendering. However, this development must be carefully examined. The unfortunate situation that bedevilled us for over 10 years is virtually coming to an end”.
The chief imam of Borno, Imam Zannah Laisu assured of the commitment of religious leaders to the deradicalisation process.
On his part, Borno State CAN chairman, represented by the secretary, Reverend Joseph Kwaha expressed the support of the Christian community towards the deradicalisation of repentant terrorists.
The vice chancellors of the University of Maiduguri and Borno State University announced plans by their institutions to study the situation and come up with robust research on how to handle the repentant terrorists.
Representing Borno Elders Forum, Dr Bulama Mali Gubio, while supporting the reintegration initiative expressed reservation on the genuineness of the massive surrender by the terrorists in recent days.