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Amnesty For Boko Haram: The Making of Northern Armies

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ElevateNews takes a look at the plan of the Federal Government to integrate repentants Boko Haram to the Nigerian Army and the implications.

I am not a soldier, neither do I have any knowledge of soldiering but I am so sure that the integration of Boko Haram repentants into the Nigerian Army will have bad consequence.

It is like converting unconventional warriors to conventional warriors in the name of stemming the tide of terrorism.

This formula of addressing insurgency is crude, unconstitutional and it breaches the idea of quota system of Nigeria public service.

Northerners occupy the largest space in the Nigerian security formation at present.

Recruiting Boko Haram repentants into the Nigerian Army is like widening the gap between the population of northerners against the southerners in the military.

No Southerner is a member of Boko Haram. Almost all of them are Kanuris of Borno State and perhaps a few Fulanis.

I do not understand why it is easy for this government to grant amnesty to terrorists but difficult to arrest the marauder herdsmen that have been attacking innocent Nigerians.

There is no law that guides the recruitment of Boko Haram into the Nigerian Army, yet the government was restless with the creation of the Western States Security Network, Operation Amotekun.

While Amotekun has since become a legal security group, the absorption of Boko Haram members into the Nigerian military remains an aberration and should be challenged by other regions of the country.

This strategy is political as it exposes the resolve of the Nigerian Army headed by Lt. Gen. Turkur Buratai not to kill terrorists again but to persuade them to renounce the organisation and join the military.

There is no doubt that more Boko Haram members are beginning to enjoy this new carrot by Buratai. They prefer to join the Nigerian Army not because they want to defend the country but to get their daily bread.

What pushed many of them to terrorism is lack of job and poverty. Now that a country has promised them jobs by recruiting them into the army, hundreds of the Boko Haram members can easily renounce terrorism to embrace the military.

Invariably, the Federal Government can solve the problem of terrorism if it is ready to provide jobs for the jobless youths in the North.

Thousands of these youths could be involved in farming, which is one of the economic policies of this administration.

They could be engaged in the areas of mining as part of this administration’s economic diversification policies.

But the government has chosen to recruit them into the army instead of enrolling them for agricultural extension programme, which,
would have gone a long way in growing the economy of this country.

Before Boko Haram, there was the Niger Delta militia. Some were killed for vandalizing the oil infrastructure before the government resolved to grant them amnesty.

They were sent abroad to learn skills through the amnesty programme. The repentants Niger Delta militia could have been converted to Nigerian Army but the politics in it would not allow it.

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