Tinubu ‘Considers’ Ending Boko Haram Amnesty Program
President Bola Tinubu is considering halting the De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration Programme for repentant Boko Haram insurgents due to its immense financial burden.
The Nigerian government is considering shifting its focus from this costly amnesty program towards fortifying military operations in the Northeast to expedite the end of the insurgency.
Amidst these considerations, plans are in place to transfer another 1,000 insurgents from a detention facility in Kainji, Niger State, to a rehabilitation centre in Gombe State.
Previous Chief of Defence Staff, General Godwin Irabor, revealed in January that over 83,000 insurgents had surrendered to the Nigerian Army through the Operation Safe Corridor program.
Irabor disclosed that 613 persons were undergoing de-radicalisation and rehabilitation as part of the OPSC.
Furthermore, in March 2022, 500 ex-Boko Haram terrorists were released from the De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration Camp in Mallam Sidi, Gombe State, after their reformative period at the facility.
Despite these numbers, there have been reports of many rehabilitated insurgents engaging in criminal activities or returning to Boko Haram.
These issues, along with the high costs, have led to doubts about the program’s effectiveness.
Many Nigerians oppose the rehabilitation of insurgents, arguing they should face justice for their actions instead.
A top high-ranking official that spoke with Punch confirmed Tinubu’s potential plan to end the amnesty for insurgents, based on these concerns and the “huge financial burden.”
In the 2023 budget, the Federal Government earmarked N2.4bn for two rehabilitation centres for repentant Boko Haram members and other terrorist groups.
However, the future of these projects and the whole program remains uncertain.
A reliable Presidency source that spoke with the stated, “The President may not want to toe that line. There’s so much that has gone into rehabilitating repentant terrorists already. And it’s quite expensive to maintain. He may not continue with it.”