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Borno Govt, European Union, others unite against stigmatisation of repentants Boko Haram

Borno State Government, Peace Ambassadors in collaboration with European Union, British Council, and other NGOs in the state have on Thursday united for the elimination of stigmatisation against repentants Boko Haram terrorists.

Speaking during a one-day policy dialogue on mechanisms for enhancing community acceptance of returnees in Borno state, the Commissioner of Home Affairs, Information and Culture, Babakura Abba Jatau, called for an end to stigma against repentants Boko Haram terrorists which he said was necessary as the reintegration and the resettlement drive of the state government is at an
advanced stage.

According to him, “we are now experiencing a massive surrendering of Boko Haram insurgents in the state, it is now up to the people in the communities to accept them or ask them to go back to the bush and continue to harass them”.

He noted that people have no reason not to accept the repentants of Boko Haram.

“Any war that starts with a firing bullet whether we like it or not must come to end on the table, we have seen it all over the world and we cannot be different”.

“The challenge is now on the traditional rulers, community and religious leaders as well as the general public to understand that the situation we have found ourselves in so that we are going get a permanent peace in our country”.

“The way forward is to find something tangible for them so that they may think about going back to bush and continue terrorising us again,” he said.

Ambassadors Ahmed Shehu, the President of Peace Ambassadors, Centre for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment described stigma and discrimination against repentants from Boko Haram as the biggest barriers to ending insecurity in the Northeast.

Amb. Ahmed said that stigma and discrimination are two major factors capable of hindering the massive surrendering of Boko Haram terrorists because of fear of marginalisation in the communities.

Commenting, Major General (rtd) Bamidele Shafa the former Coordinator of Operation Safe Corridor, saddled with the responsibility of deradicalisation and reintegration of repentant Boko Haram members into the society, said “as the roles of the society in peace cannot be wished away, the people are very critical and except the people open their minds, open their hands to accept the boys and their associated persons that are coming out peace may not be achieved”

He appealed to the people of the Northeast to have large hearts to accept the repentant Boko Haram terrorists so that their actions can encourage the remaining Boko Haram member who are still in the bush to come out and surrender.

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Borno Govt, European Union, others unite against stigmatisation of repentants Boko Haram

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