Senate President Ahmad Lawan has advised that the Nigerian military must be circumspect in accepting “repentant” Boko Haram insurgents into society.
Lawan stated this after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa on Monday.
He noted that measures must be put in place to ensure that the insurgents who claim to have surrendered and are begging forgiveness are actually ‘genuine’.
SaharaReporters had reported that the Defence Headquarters had said over 1,000 insurgents, including Boko Haram commanders and bomb experts, surrendered to troops of operation Hadin Kai in the North-East.
There has been an outrage over the federal government’s move to rehabilitate and reintegrate the “repentant” insurgents back into society.
Speaking on Monday, the senate president said the country needs a policy on how to deal with repentant criminals.
“We need to screen those who are genuine and those who may just follow in for some reasons, but I do not subscribe to the idea of saying forget about people who are surrendering, all of them are criminals and the rest of it,” he said.
“In the law of war or something, when somebody surrenders, you have something to surrender and of course, maybe you’ll do some profiling and find out whether this is someone who is genuine.
“I believe that we should give people the benefit of the doubt, but we should also be very circumspect on those who may not be genuine in this, but we should accept people when they come and take the appropriate measures, get the right strategies on how to deal with the reintegration of such people into the community.”
Lawan, however, added that the security situation in the country would be better before Buhari leaves office in 2023.