……Boko Haram victims denied welfare packages
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has kicked against the planned release of over 600 Boko Haram insurgents by the military.
It described the decision to grant amnesty to the former terrorists as wicked.
The forum said it fully backed the objection by the Nigerian Military Widows Association against “the wicked and insensitive policy of the Federal Government on recycling of Boko Haram cadres.”
The NMWA had kicked against the decision to release the ‘de-radicalised’ insurgents, stating that they were responsible for the death of many soldiers and officers.
The SMBLF in a statement on Friday questioned the rationale for the release of the insurgents by the government, arguing that it was promoting crime by this policy.
The statement was signed by the forum’s co-spokespersons, Yinka Odumakin (South West), Gen. Collins Ihekire (South East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South South) and Dr Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt).
It read in part, “The release of these terrorists as the group continues to cause untold devastation across the land and inflicting maximum harm on our armed forces cannot be explained on any rational basis outside complicity with terrorism by the Federal Government and unwittingly promoting crime against humanity.”
“We see the whole idea as an ethnic agenda to replicate for terrorists the amnesty programme designed for Niger Delta militants who were destroying pipelines during their uprising against the neglect of Niger Delta but not spreading terror among innocent civilians or beheading human beings like Boko Haram,” the forum noted.
The group further stated that “the 2,000 members of the group reportedly released so far are more than enough to cause the surprise President Buhari expressed lately about the vibrancy of the terror group in spite of official lie that it had been degraded.”
While sympathizing with the military widows and their children, the SMBLF admonished the government to “stop turning more of our officers and men’s wives to widows.
It asked the government to stop forthwith “the recycling of terrorists.”