Traditional and religious leaders in Borno have said it will be difficult to reintegrate repentant Boko Haram members into their communities.
The leaders expressed fear over the de-radicalisation of repentant members of Boko Haram by the Nigerian Army under its Safe Corridor programme.
Abubakar El-Kanemi, Shehu of Borno, said the idea is a welcomed one, but that the people will continue to be haunted by the horrors of the 12-year insurgency, especially residents of communities where the repentant insurgents are to be incorporated.
“The Safe Corridor programme of the Army led to the de-radicalisation of repentant terrorists in Gombe state. But it will be very difficult if not impossible for us to reintegrate the repentant insurgents into our destroyed communities,” he said, adding that Bama township and its college of education were flattened by Boko Haram in September, 2014.
The insurgents were reported to have killed 13 district heads and several ward heads in 16 LGAs in Borno.
“It is easy to forgive for the destruction of many lives and property, but difficult to forget the wanton loss of lives in the various communities of my Chiefdom,” the Shehu of Borno said.
“Many people were killed along with their property for 12 years. And you people and the media expect us to forget and forgive the repentant terrorists?”
On August 12, about 1000 members of Boko Haram reportedly surrendered to troops in Konduga, Gwoza and Bama in Borno.
Those who surrendered will go through the Safe Corridor programme which was launched in 2016 for the de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and re-integration (DRR) of ex-insurgents in the country.