The current practice of embracing surrendered terrorist elements by the Federal Government in the guise of repentance is one intriguing phenomenon that stares well meaning Nigerians in the face.
It is no longer news that hundreds of suspected terrorists in the Northeast who voluntarily surrendered to Nigerian troops or were captured but chose to denounce terrorism as a way of securing their freedom from prosecution have been getting some favourable attention from government in a manner that the scenario that recently played out in Afghanistan can be replicated here in Nigeria.
Agreed that the government may have every reason to treat the “repentants” with some kid glove as they may not have become involved in terrorism out of their own personal volition but through coercion by the Bokom Haram leadership, it is certainly not advisable for government to accept the so called repented terrorists without being mindful of what the future of Nigeria holds with such elements fully integrating with the larger society on the mere assumption that they have repented.
That the Taliban elements who have waged similar war of insurgency against the Afghan government for years even when American troops were rendering huge military assistance, is a strong indicator that the Boko Haram/ISWAP elements could borrow some leaf to unrelentingly over-run the Nigerian government.
That the Taliban whose population was put at about 75,000 fighters could outsmart Afghan forces with a population of about 400,000 makes it quite believable that with determination the terrorist elements in Nigeria can do same given the fact that their tribe is fast penetrating the populace as “repented” but suspected terror elements in sheep’s clothing.
Nigerians may be sharply divided as what to believe in the trending surrender or repentance of some terrorists, but it would rather be in the nation’s interest not to absolutely believe in the posturing of the so called repentants.
SECURITY REPORTERS.com would therefore want to align with other Nigerians calling on Buhari’s administration to be circumspect on the issue of granting amnesty or freedom to the so called terrorists who surrendered but who in any case have killed many innocent citizens.
Before it dawned on the surrendered terrorists to give up the fight, they have rendered many families fatherless, or outright orphans. It is therefore imperative that such people should be carefully profiled with a view to prosecuting the culpable elements among them.
Let us not make the mistake of trusting in the so called repented terrorists as they may be another Taliban in Nigeria.