By: Babagana Bukar Wakil, Maiduguri
Borno State Government, in collaboration of UNICEF, with the support of traditional rulers and the public will reconcile and reintegrate 6,000 members of former non-state combatants and their associates, who have laid down their arms and surrendered to troops.
The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Al-Amin Elkanemi who had reportedly opposed reintegration of repentant terrorists in the past, has declared traditional rulers’ support and ensured that all repentant Boko Haram members embraced by people in communities.
The official launching of a Public Information Campaign in support of Reconciliation and Reintegration of the surrendered terrorists took place at the Palace of the Shehu in Maiduguri.
It could be recall that these surrendered terrorists, mostly women and children, are currently camped in designated areas in Maiduguri, a situation that generated a lot of concern and fear.
Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Information and Culture, Alhaji Babakura Jato while launching the campaign said that the 12-year atrocities posed by insurgents have made Borno State and the North-East region backward economically.
Jato said that it is the right time to engage all stakeholders to contribute towards embracing repentant insurgents back to the society, as most of the victims were women and children who were forcefully recruited and joined the terrorists.
In her goodwill message, the UNICEF Chief of Field Office in Maiduguri, Ms Phuong Nguyen, said developing partners such as UNICEF, EU, UN Migration among others would do its best to support Borno Government under the leadership of Governor Babagana Zulum and other traditional as well as religious leaders in the region towards process of reintegration for children who were formerly linked to armed groups and recruited by non-state security providers.