Borno State governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, has said over 90 per cent of repentant Boko Haram members have genuinely repented.
He disclosed this to State House correspondents on Wednesday after the inauguration of the Presidential Committee on the Repatriation, Return, and Resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-East of Nigeria at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Recall that Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai on Tuesday had said there was nothing like a repentant bandit or terrorist, saying no legitimate government could survive, tolerating terrorists, or negotiating with those, who constituted a menace to law-abiding citizens.
But Governor Zulum said most of the repentant terrorists were already giving the government the necessary support.
He said, “Hundred per cent confident. yes! While no process is perfect in the entire world, so far, so good, the process has yielded positive results.
“I believe, over 90% of those that have surrendered, are doing well and have given the government the necessary support. They’re also calling their colleagues in the bush to come out and join the process of peace-building.”
On the inauguration of the committee to resettle the IDPs, he said “Indeed, we are so much happy, especially those of us that are in the North-East because thousands of people were displaced, some are taking refuge in the Republic of Chad, in the Republic of Niger, Cameroon.
“And this is the time that the federal government of Nigeria, in collaboration with the state governments of the North-East, will facilitate the repatriation of the internally displaced persons that are living in our neighboring countries to Nigeria.
“The committee is also to look into the management of the repentant Boko Haram members. So indeed, we are so grateful and the entire north-eastern government will give maximum support to this committee.
“We will provide the necessary support to the federal government under the distinguished leadership of Mr. President, we shall provide and support the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and others and the military to ensure that this process yields the desired result,” he added.
When asked if the refugees are ready to come back, he said: “They are overready. They have been agitating for a return for the last two and a half years. But unfortunately, the enabling environment has not been created for that return.
“But now that the federal government has acted, when all the necessary resources and materials needed to ensure their return in a dignified manner will be provided by the federal government and we remain extremely grateful.”