The government of President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that ‘repentant’ Boko Haram militants will be released without being charged with any crimes.
The call to prosecute and murder the “repentant” terrorists rather than award them amnesty, according to Nigeria’s information minister Lai Mohammed, goes against international best practices.
Mr Mohammed added,“I personally spoke to the military authority before I left Nigeria, and they said what they were doing is what the global practice dictates about soldiers that surrendered that should be treated as prisoners of war. You cannot just shoot them because there are international conventions that give rights also to prisoners of war.”
The Nigerian military, he claims, has initiated operations to free the terrorists.
“What the military does when they surrender is profile them to guarantee that they are genuine and reintegrate them into society,” the information minister explained.
Mr Mohammed noted that the situation in Afghanistan does not represent the situation in Nigeria. Nigerian army will fight Boko Haram and ISWAP militants until they were defeated, he added.
This was said by Mr Mohammed in a Friday interview with NAN in Washington.
In recent weeks, the dictatorship stated that 1,000 Boko Haram terrorists and their families had surrendered in Konduga, Bama, and Mafa.
Those who claimed the surrendered rebels were not Boko Haram terrorists were chastised by the minister.
“The fact that we are witnessing insurgents submitting in droves calls for the commendation of our military for their doggedness,” Mr Mohammed pointed out. We must not forget that two months ago, Nigerians were putting pressure on the president to recruit mercenaries to fight the war against terror because they said we were losing the war.”