Don’t Give Surrendered Boko Haram Fighters Special Treatment, Archbishop Kaigama Tells FG

The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Reverend Ignatius Kaigama, has cautioned the Federal Government against treating surrendered Boko Haram/ISWAP fighters as “newly found brothers”.

Similarly, Kaigama also cautioned religious groups against sentimentalism in the controversy around the proposed rehabilitation of repentant insurgents in the North East.

This, the Catholic prelate noted, could be a recipe for disaster.

In a statement he personally signed and dispatched to journalists in Abuja on Sunday, the Archbishop argued that patting those who have inflicted pains and agony on the back while abandoning communities and people who are haunted by the horrors of the terrorism was ironic.

However, the revered clergyman noted that forgiveness was a good way to end conflicts such as Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgency, but insisted on the dispensation of justice on the criminals as a form of deterrence to willing to take up arms against the Nigerian State.

Kaigama said, “We must not forget that Boko Haram insurgents have killed and maimed many, especially in North-East Nigeria, even as many others have been left homeless and without means of livelihood.

“It has been well said that the greatest injustice is to seem just and not be so. The Federal Government should not be seen to be handling the Boko Haram debacle with kid gloves whereas visiting with the full might of its power on people with similar agitations in other parts of the country.

“The programme of reintegration must not suffer the fate of mismanaged opportunities, but properly guided by social welfare officials, sociologists, psychologists, security workers, religious and traditional leaders entrusted with helping the ones who were lost but now found. It should not be business as usual.”

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