Reactions as 602 Boko Haram members renounce membership, set for freedom

It has seemingly become a norm for Nigerians to awake to news of one gruesome Boko Haram attack or another.

The staggering numbers of citizens killed by the insurgent group have left many traumatised and heartbroken, which explains why it was no surprise that Nigerians reacted in derision when news broke of the planned release of 602 Boko Haram members after the reported denouncement of their membership.

Reports detail that the ex-combatants took an oath before an 11-man quasi-judicial panel headed by Justice Nehizena Afolabi of the Federal High Court, Gombe, pledging allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

They are said to have completed a six month de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration programme of Operation Safe Corridor, a multi-agency humanitarian effort established in 2016 to encourage the terrorists to turn a new leaf; led by the Defence Headquarters.

The Coordinator of Operation Safe Corridor, Maj.-Gen. Bamidele Shafa said the appearance of the ex-combatants before a judicial panel was an essential step if they were to be reintroduced into the society.

Nigerians reacted to this news in anger; pointing out that there’s a disparity in the treatment of these former Boko Haram members and that of everyday citizens arrested for meagre crimes.


Some drew attention to the fact that just recently, there were reports of about 30 Nigerian soldiers killed by Boko Haram insurgents in an ambush. Yet, the Government was reintroducing these convicts back into society.


Some also questioned when Boko Haram’s reign of terror would finally be over. They recalled President Muhammadu Buhari‘s promise to crush Boko Haram, yet it’s been years, and nothing has changed.


The Coordinator of Operation Safe Corridor, has however assured Nigerians that if the ex-combatants were tocommit any offence, they stand to forfeit all privileges that they have acquired today and will be liable for an offence against the State.”

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