CAN Chairman’s Killing: Release Of ‘Repentant’ Boko Haram Members Bad Strategy – Salkida
A Nigerian journalist, Ahmad Salkida, has faulted what he described as the military’s “rehab-release strategy” of Boko Haram insurgents.
Salkida has established himself over the years as an authentic source of information on the activities of Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast.
The journalist on Tuesday broke the news of the killing of Lawan Andimi, the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika local government area of Adamawa state. Andimi had been kidnapped few weeks ago during an attack on Michika by the insurgents.
The journalist had said he was traumatized by the terrorists’ execution of Reverend Andimi who he described as “a church leader, a father to his children and the community he served.”
Salkida tweeted: “The so-called rehabilitation and release of #BokoHaram members presumed to be repentant is a most ill-informed strategy. It should be suspended indefinitely. In my considered view, until the war ends, a suspension should remain.
“The suspension of the rehab-release strategy doesn’t undermine the process of de-radicalization or investigation into those wrongly detained with a view to release. The idea of pandering to murderers and disregarding their victims must stop.”
Salkida’s statement came few days after the Nigerian military announced that no fewer than 608 repentant Boko Haram insurgents were currently undergoing De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DRR) Programme by Operation Safe Corridor (OSC) at Malam-Sidi, Gombe State.
– Alleged persecution of Christians –
While CAN is yet to issue a statement on the killing of the Andimi by the insurgents, the Christian body had previously accused the present administration of “religious persecution” against Christians in the country.
The organization had claimed that Christians were the targets of killings across the country by criminals. It also accused the federal government of failing to secure Leah Sharibu’s release from the captivity of Boko Haram “because of her religion”
CAN made the claims after the insurgents released a video showing the killing of 11 Christians on December 26, 2019.
– Christians, Muslims Opposed To Boko Haram –
President Muhammadu Buhari had in reaction to CAN’s allegations said his administration was opposed to religious intolerance.
Buhari also insisted that Christians and Muslims in the country were united in their opposition to the insurgents.
While cautioning Nigerians against subscribing to Boko Haram’s message of division, the president said it was wrong to “continue to see these happenings solely in religious terms,” adding that “Not seeing them as they should be is exactly what the terrorists and groups wish: they want Nigerians to see their beliefs as a reason to turn against one another.”