Governor Babagana Zulum has spoken out about Boko Haram insurgents who just surrendered to the Nigerian military.
The Borno state governor told military personnel and community leaders in Bama and Gwoza that admitting Boko Haram risks significantly offending victims’ sensibilities, maybe leading to civil war, because it is difficult to welcome killers of one’s parents, children, and other loved ones.
Zulum further stated in a statement posted by his spokesperson Isa Gusau that refusing to accept the terrorists could lead to “an unending battle.”
“Accepting Boko Haram has the risk of seriously offending the feelings of victims with the potential of civil rebellion.
“No one would find it easy to accept killers of his or her parents, children and other loved ones. In the last 12 years, we have been in this war, and we have lost thousands of fellow citizens.”
Zulum further stated that his government will hold high-level meetings, including with victims of the rebels’ crimes, in order to “come up with a workable framework.”
“We (in Borno) are in a very difficult situation over the ongoing surrender by insurgents.
“We have to critically look between two extreme conditions and decide our future.
“We have to choose between an endless war or to cautiously accept the surrendered terrorists which is really painful and difficult for anyone that has lost loved ones, difficult for all of us and even for the military whose colleagues have died and for volunteers.
“No one would find it easy to accept killers of his or her parents, children and other loved ones.
“In the last 12 years we have been in this war, and we have lost thousands of fellow citizens. We don’t know the whereabout of thousands of others, we don’t know whether they are alive or dead.
“In these 12 years, millions have been made homeless and many wealthy farmers, transporters and others have been rendered poor.
“In these years, we were able to cultivate maybe around 3% of the arable land, and as a result our people became dependent on food aid amid donor fatigue and potential food insecurity, infact the repercussions of the Boko Haram crisis are enormous and as someone who has been involved with assessment of the impacts and rebuilding efforts in the last seven years, I am in position to know the endless negative impact the Boko Haram has made in Borno.”