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Nigeria’s amnesty for terrorists re-opens old wounds

By Akin Irede
Posted on Tuesday, 31 August 2021 12:32

Gunmen release abducted Islamic students in north-central Nigeria
A mother reacts as she holds on to her son, one of the students from Tegina's Salihu Tanko Islamic School who were abducted three months ago by gunmen, at the government house after their release, in Minna, Nigeria August 27, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer

An amnesty programme for terrorists by Nigeria's government is sparking anger among victims of Boko Haram. With over 350,000 killed by the Islamist group, has the administration got its priorities straight?

Mrs. Seun Sakaba could not control her anger when photographs of repentant Boko Haram fighters holding placards which read, ‘Nigerians, please forgive us’, recently went viral on social media.

The terrorists who surrendered along with their families were presented with foodstuffs and clothes. Commending the fighters for surrendering, the Nigerian Army said they would all be rehabilitated in a camp before being reintegrated into society.

Former Boko Haram fighters / via Youtube

It echoes the controversy about ‘Sulhu’ – a Nigerian programme to demobilise Boko Haram fighters which grew out of a sense that there were some muhajideen who were willing to negotiate.