Borno State Government on Monday disclosed that about 1,400 repentant Boko Haram suspects have been released into the society after undergoing rehabilitation.
The Borno State Commissioner for Information, Babakura Jato disclosed this during an interview with Punch on Monday, February 10, 2020.
According to him, about 1, 400 repentant Boko Haram suspects has been released in three tranches since the ‘Operation Safe Corridor’ programme began in 2016.
He noted that the release of the suspects began in 2018, adding that most of the persons released were not actually Boko Haram members but were relatives of terrorists or persons found in the wrong place at the wrong time. He said:
“There have been a series of releases. They were released in three tranches. The first set was released during Governor Shettima’s time while two sets have been released under Prof. Zulum.
“The total number of persons released is 1,400. Out of the 1,400, the majority of them are cleared suspects. These were people who were suspected of being members of Boko Haram and it was discovered that they were not.
“The rest are children of Boko Haram or actual Boko Haram members. I cannot give you a breakdown of the figure now for security reasons.”
Jato said after the training, they were handed over to the Borno State Government for proper integration into their communities.
He stated that if any person was rejected by his community for being a former Boko Haram member, the government would resettle that person.
The commissioner said he was aware of allegations that some of those released had gone back to terrorism but argued that most of these allegations were mere speculations.
When asked if there were recorded cases of someone going back to join Boko Haram, he said, “I have not heard of that but we have had cases whereby people in the community rejected them. So, they return to the rehab centres and we change their location.”
Some concerned Nigerians are airing their views via comments on social media.
This is coming barely 24 hours after Boko Haram insurgents killed over 30 civilians and kidnapped many travellers who were stranded outside the military entrance city gate in Auno town, Konduga local government area of Borno state.