Lai Mohammed explains why repentant Boko Haram members can’t be prosecuted
In the southern Borno towns of Konduga, Bama, and Mafa, approximately 1000 Boko Haram militants and their families have surrendered to the Army in recent weeks. The military has since rehabilitated and reintegrated the repentant militants.
Many Nigerians have opposed this decision, believing that instead of rehabilitation, the surrendered militants should be punished for terrorist actions.
However, Mohammed explained why the repentant insurgents cannot be punished in a Washington interview with NAN. As he puts it
“I spoke with the military before leaving Nigeria, and they informed me that what they were doing was regular procedure for troops who surrendered and that they should be treated as prisoners of war.
You can’t just shoot them since international treaties grant prisoners of war rights as well.
When they surrender, the military profiles them to ensure that they are genuine before reintegrating them into society,” he explained.
He congratulated the troops on the recent rise in the number of militants surrendering.
“The rebels are surrendering in droves, demonstrating our military’s persistence.
We must not forget that just two months ago, Nigerians were pressuring President Buhari to employ mercenaries to fight the war on terror, claiming that the country was losing the battle.
The President, on the other hand, remained focused and assured in his trust in the Nigerian military’s ability to defeat the militants.
We are grateful to God that Mr. President has been proven correct today.
We were able to do this primarily due to Mr. President’s leadership in continuously giving resources to the troops and ensuring that their combat morale is maintained through welfare packages,” he added.