Over 100,000 lives have been lost in Borno State, Nigeria, in the last 12 years as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency,. Also, so far, a total of 2,600 fighters of the terror organization recently surrendered to the Nigerian military and are currently in custody. This is according to Babagana Umara Zulum, a professor and governor of Borno State.
Governor Zulum made the revelations after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja, Nigeria, on the state of insecurity in the northeast of Nigeria, and Borno State in particular.
According to the governor, as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency, 10 per cent of the population of Borno State is unaccounted for as many people in many communities in the state are still nowhere to be found, having fled their homes at the peak of the crisis.
Disagreeing with some Nigerians who are of the opinion that the surrendered Boko Haram insurgency fighters be rejected, the governor said that here is no reason for any community to reject them, adding that they are people who were living within the communities before the unfortunate incident.
“Those fighters on the side of the Boko Haram insurgency who surrendered should be accepted and treated well and should not be rejected in their communities. That is the only way to show them the difference by loving them because they have repented from their mistakes,” the governor said.
He explained that many of those who are surrendering to troops are people who were forcefully conscripted into the Boko Haram insurgency and that they had to stay with the terrorists to stay alive. ”Some of them were small children when they were taken to join the terrorists,” he added.
He said his administration will do everything possible to support the surrendered terrorists, adding that government is not contemplating inducing the terrorists in order to have them surrender but will work to ensure that those who surrender after profiling by the military return to their communities.