OPINION: The Insensitivity And Hasty Integration Of “Repentant” Boko Haram Criminals, By Adeola Soetan

”Take them to government house or Aso Rock’ – Borno residents reject reintegration of ex-Boko Haram fighters”

*Good response from the citizens, victims and bereaved families of Boko Haram’s casualties.

No responsible and sensitive government will make rehabilitation and reintegration of  the so-called  repentant Boko Haram criminals a priority programme at the expense of national security and full rehabilitation of millions of IDPs rendered homeless, fatherless, motherless, widows, widowers and permanently handicapped by the same forest bandits they are now integrating with their victims. 

The integration programme is untimely, unnessarily hasty and unproductive. Unproductive because the government gained almost nothing in gainful information and the ‘repentant’ criminals field operation intelligence to have helped our gallant military officers and troops to a successful counter terrorism offensive. It’s obvious in the unrelenting attacks, kill and run and many ambushes leading to painful death of troops and civilians.

Sadly, none of the ‘repentant’ criminals was prosecuted and killed or sentenced before the hasty amnesty to serve as deterrence to other criminals. Negotiation or MoU? Come off it please.

Boko Haram simply threw banana of negotiation to the monkey at the early life of Buhari regime and the monkey regime exertedly fell yakata for it without deep intelligence evaluation to determine the pace, and the government became subservient to these dirty  forest criminals.

Good enough that many Chibok and Dapchi girls were released but our intelligence service should have known that terrorists don’t negotiate sincerely for long, they change tactics, kill more and abduct more citizens for ransom to survive and purchase drugs and weapons. Instead of boldly coming to towns to bomb as they used to do in previous regime because of high security, they changed tactics to soft targets killing more in the ungoverned areas. 


We have been too reactive instead of proactive with persistent massive offensive. The low morale of troops and officers on the frontline will continue to drop  due to these psychological attack and obvious severe inadequate weapons.

The day Federal Government allowed criminal Boko Haram terrorists to have a triumphant entry into Dapchi town to release those abducted  girls with frustrated jubilant crowd of citizens giving them heroic welcome and exit, I knew the psycologological warfare had been won by the criminals. It was a subtle show of strength, a blackmail which created a siege mentality on our citizens. Why won’t citizens support BH to survive when they know the criminals can come and go, kill, abduct and release captives as they want? After all, they had shown their strength by openly breaching national sovereignity in Dapchi. 


Dont let us  continue to deceive ourselves, in a state of war and  insecurity where citizens are helpless and found themselves at the mercy of BH and other bandits especially  at the borderline, citizenship and nationalism is meaningless because the basic human instinct is survival. Why won’t they give conditional critical surport to survive to Boko Haram when our troops are not available or always available after the act? Since they  are living in the unprotected and ungoverned villages, citizens’options are limited. Trained and armed themselves with “sakabula” hunter’s guns, bow and arrow, become prayer warriors, flee their community to no where, or become compulsive friends or informants of BH based on survival instinct. At this point, citizenship or patriotism becomes a fantasy. You are a citizen because you are alive. Citizenship may be an unchangeable product of productive biology but not of geography. Birth is natural while geography is artificial and changeable. You can’t change your parents but you can change your citizenship as millions have done globally. 

The CoAS was only spewing an escapist balderdash  when he started his blame game by accusing some citizens of cooperating with BH without finding out the informed  reason, if the allegation is true. Why won’t they if those citizens are in the  BH captured or easily accessible territory where the criminals regularly invade to kill, loot, rape and abduct them freely and no troop in sight or have run away  or simply overwhelmed.

Burantai should disguise one day  without troop or security details, go and spend just a week in such BH captured, ungoverned and dangerous territory, then he will know why citizens under siege reluctantly give fake or right information to the forest bandits to survive or be killed. Of course many who gave helpful information to the army have been killed because of intelligence compromised. Thousands have died unknown. 

Babajide Otitoju severally mentioned on TVC Journalist Hangout that many senior military officers including a service chief cannot go to their homes for some years now because their villages and some local government areas are still under BH control. So what else do we need to confirm that the war is far from being over but only tactics were changed?

I have read about ambush and ambush many times by BH particularly on some roads including Maiduguri-Damboa axis with many gallant soldiers captured and slaughtered like Obasanjo chickens as if there’s no solution for ambush in modern warfare again.

What happens to air surveillance before land troop’s advancement, what happens to satellite imagery and  technology driven intelligence gathering and evaluation and what happens to constant review of warfare strategies and tactics and where are those modern military equipment that billions and billions were voted? And what happens to the welfare of troops and their low morale which has led to AWOL, mass resignation, weeping by soldiers who are now  openly abusing their CoAS and government.
If sergeants, captains, col. and generals are complaining, fidgeting with fear, crying and dying at battle fields, what else do we need to know that BH has not been technically or spiritually defeated?

Do we need to tell the chief executive of a football team to change his coach when result is not being achieved as expected and players are openly crying on the field, abusing their coach for their failure and resigning?

It’s only a winning management team or a creative star player like King Lionel Messi you don’t change. If Messi, the best world player of all season flops sharply today, Barca won’t mind to throw him out and if he likes, he can end up coaching Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal or any other teams struggling to have him. Such is life.

A coach is as good as his last match likewise a CoAS, and other service chiefs are as good as their last war they supervise. Not because they are bad, no, but  because they have done their best and their best seems not good enough in the face of available result. It’s not a good record that over 2500 troops and citizens have been murdered this year alone by Boko Haram and other forest bandits. They are not chickens.

Obasanjo or any large scale poultry farmer cannot afford to lose such huge number of birds without changing his farm manager, poultry manager, assistant, vet, animal scientist, accountant, clerk. Trust Baba Obasanjo, he may even jail all of them not minding that it is “our poultry farm” kept in trust for us like “our other public properties” now held by his other colleagues till when the social revolution comes. It can be delayed but will definitely come.


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