Repentant Boko Haram terrorists swore by Quran, they can’t return to the bush to fight – Borno Govt

The Borno State Government said that the 160,000 repentant Boko Haram terrorists can’t return to the bush to continue fighting killings because they swore to an oath with the Quran.

The state’s Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Zuwaira Gambo, disclosed this on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, when she spoke at the public presentation of survivors, victims and deradicalised women of Boko Haram by the UKAID-assisted Maiduguri-based non-governmental organisation, Allamin Foundation.

Gambo, whose ministry oversees the affairs of the ex-combatants and rescued captives, added that of the 160,000 repentant insurgents, 70,000 had been resettled and reintegrated into their communities, The PUNCH reported. 

Gambo stressed that having sworn by the Quran the ex-terrorists would never return to the bush to rejoin Boko Haram. 

The commissioner allayed the growing public fears that the resurgence of terror in the Northeast was being caused by the repentant terrorists reneging on their repentance and trooping back to the bush to pick up arms against the Nigerian state.

“It is completely untrue that the repentant Boko Haram fighters are reneging on their repentance and returning to the bush to continue fighting,” she said.

“Out of the over 160,000 who repented, we have already reintegrated over 70,000 in their home communities, and I can assure you that no one will be missing should we decide to gather all of them for anyone to confirm. We operate a transparent process of their repentance,”

The commissioner said she was sure the repentant insurgent would not return to the trenches, having taken an oath with the Quran.

“We subject each of them to proper oath taking with the Holy Quran that he or she will never return to the bush to fight; and he or she swears with the Holy Quran in the presence of a committee comprising traditional rulers, religious leaders and government officials.

“No repentant Boko Haram dare renege on the oath because he or she knows what it means to swear with the Holy Quran and renege, and he or she knows that he or she dare not return to the bush because he or she knows that death awaits him on arrival; their commanders in the bush will kill him because they would not trust him.”

Gambo said about 75 per cent of the repentant insurgents were originally farmers, who were captured and forced into insurgency.

“They were not real fighters,” she said.

She, however, said the state government would study the entire charters of demand and do everything it could about them.

The charter comprises the demands of the survivors and victims from the government, security agencies, NGOs, the media, traditional and religious leaders, community members and other stakeholders for proper rehabilitation to a prosperous life.