Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, on Sunday in Abuja, warned against granting amnesty to repentant insurgents, saying such an action cannot restore peace in troubled states.
He also said arrangements were being perfected to ensure the return of some displaced victims of insurgency living in the Internally Displaced Persons camps in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, to their ancestral villages next month.
“MAJORITY OF NIGERIANS ARE AGAINST THE WAY THAT THE OPERATION SAFE CORRIDOR IS BEING HANDLED. IT IS WRONG TO GRANT AMNESTY TO REPENTANT TERRORISTS WHEN THE WAR IS STILL FAR FROM BEING OVER. THE WAR MUST BE OVER BEFORE WE COULD START DOING THAT”
Ndume, who is representing Borno South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, stated this while speaking with journalists in Abuja.
He said indigenes of Damboa, Kukawa, Kawuri, and Ngoshe, among others, would be assisted to their ancestral homes by soldiers as from October 15.
Ndume said it had become imperative for the Federal Government to change tactics on the implementation of the operation safe corridor, claiming that granting amnesty to repentant insurgents cannot restore peace to the area.
He said, “Majority of Nigerians are against the way that the operation safe corridor is being handled.
“It is wrong to grant amnesty to repentant terrorists when the war is still far from being over.
“The war must be over before we could start doing that.
“The military could open up the corridor, allow everybody to enter and start profiling them, keep them somewhere as prisoners of war, and train them.
“After the war, they could be reconciled with the victims of their unfortunate actions.
“That is what is being done all over the world. The current arrangement where the repentant insurgents are granted amnesty without apologizing to the victims and the state, cannot bring about the required peace.”
In preparation for the full return of the people, Ndume said soldiers have started pulling resources together to rebuild the houses burnt by the insurgents, using the direct labour approach.
The Senator, who said he had been visiting many Borno villages affected by the insurgency in the last two months, also explained that soldiers have started engaging in civil activities to help some of the returnees.