Zuwaira Gambo, the Borno state commissioner for women affairs has explained why they are rehabilitating suspected repentant Boko Haram members.
The commissioner was speaking at a forum on preventing and countering violent extremism organised by Search for Common Ground (SFCG) in partnership with UN Women and the government of Japan.
The meeting was held in Abuja last weekend, Zuwaira stated that the term “repentant Boko Haram terrorists” gives unsuitable omens to the public notably victims of terrorism.
She also stated that the public has misunderstood the de-radicalisation and reintegration of Boko Haram members due to the communication gap between the government and its citizens.
Moreover, she affirmed that some of the captured terrorists just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and were also forced to join the sect.
She stated that some of the apprehended suspects had no part to play but were only arrested during security checks by the military.
Furthermore, she noted that these suspects have spent some time ranging from two to five years in detention, hence the need for rehabilitation.
She said, “Because they have spent time in detention between two to five years, there is (a) need for rehabilitation, counselling and socio-psychological support.“
In addition to that, she noted that there are those who have taken part in the destruction of lives and properties, however, there is just a few of them.
According to her, not only are they few, but they also joined involuntarily; they were forced to join.
In her words, she said, “We are not saying that there are not some people who have partaken in (the) destruction of lives and properties but these people are in the minority and you also have to understand that these set of people joined involuntarily as they are forced to do so.”