Ex-Boko Haram operatives for police? Unthinkable - FCT residents
Against the backdrop of alleged plans by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to recruit repentant Boko Haram members into the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, Nigerians who spoke to Edrina EMMANUEL and Elizabeth OFFIONG have expressed concern that the directive would immensely compromise national security. Excerpts:
SUNDAY AYO: We have to view this decision from different perspectives. First, can we trust that the de-radicalisation was achieved? Why can’t the federal government integrate former Boko Haram members into normal civil society, then go ahead and train them as law enforcement officers in the army or police, after a certain period of time?
These two institutions do not enjoy the public's trust at the moment, considering several reports of harassment by the SARS faction of the police force. More so, what if the de-radicalization failed? These men will be legally empowered to bear arms.
Integrating former terrorists into the police is definitely a bad idea. I hope the government understands the consequences of this action, if they go ahead with it. It will make the national security system vulnerable.
AKPO OROK: It’s not a noble idea. Most of the so called de-radicalization programs carried out may not be complete. Moreover, some of the ex-terrorists may still be sympathetic to the cause of Boko Haram and end up being dangerous to the society.
There are several ways government can engage former Boko Haram members. It does not make sense that a government would intentionally make a decision that could threaten the nation’s security.
Also, what happens to young school leavers and youths who have completed their youth service? Why can’t such opportunities be given to them?
The Federal Government has to thoughtfully reconsider this plan, especially because of the security threats it could pose. Let us set our priorities right and aim to birth progressive thoughts for the betterment of the country.
JOSHUA NNABUCHI: If these former Boko Haram members are being recruited as informants for the law enforcement agencies, then it will be a good idea. But if they are recruited into sensitive positions in the force which gives them access to sensitive information and legal license to carry weapons, it may have dangerous results.
Government needs to have other options for these ex-terrorists, rather than making decisions that could threaten the security system of this country. As it is, the state of the security of Nigeria is hanging on a thread, with daily reports of SARS harassment and Fulani herdsmen crisis. The federal government needs to critically review this decision.
If they have been truly de-radicalized, the government can train them in various skills acquisition programs. When they have learnt these skills, they can be empowered by the federal government to build on those skills under close supervision.
OBOLO IDOWU: They shouldn't try it at all. I strongly oppose this and humbly ask the Federal Government, especially security agencies, to withdraw this directive which is capable of compromising the nation’s security. For crying out loud, how can terrorists be recruited to protect Nigerians?
Government doesn’t value our lives. If it does, it won't think of this plan let alone implementing it. Our leaders should listen to the voice of the people. This is not right and it shouldn’t happen. There are lots of youth out there who are ready to join the police and other forces. Our security agencies should recruit strong, reliable and patriotic youth not people who could end up slaughtering us. God bless Nigeria.
AINA HUSSEIN: Recruitment of former Boko Haram members into the Nigeria police force? Not only is it absurd, it is utter nonsense. These guys are murderers. They have no regard for constituted authority, can't even speak English and no formal education.
The Nigeria police force has enough problems already. Adding former Boko Haram members to them will only make the bad situation worse. They will end up infiltrating and recruiting members from the police force into their sect.
This move will greatly compromise Nigerian's security system. How can you recruit terrorists to protect the same people thy have vowed to kill and maim. It's an evil plan. Imagine being stopped in a lonely road by former Boko Haram members in police uniform. If this is allowed, the presidency will order recruitment of killer herdsmen into the police force.
This move will legalise terrorism and these former Boko Haram members will now use government apparatus to carry out their nefarious acts.
It doesn't make any sense. How can they put the very people that want nothing but kill and destroy lives in the police force? I don't know why the government always take drastic decisions that will harm instead of protect the people. If it's Intel, they want from them it's a different situation but recruiting them, that is something else.
Well, there is nothing much to do but to pray and hope they don't because no one will feel safe again in this country. Already there are killings everywhere and the forces that are meant to protect us are now going to have Boko Haram members. Unbelievable!