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Boko Haram: Massive Surrender, a Trojan horse or end of war?


Boko Haram: Massive Surrender, a Trojan horse or end of war?

By Musa Gambo

Over the past weeks, hundreds of members from the dreaded Boko haram sect have come out of their hideouts and surrender to the troops of the Nigerian army and more are still coming rapidly changing the number in a dramatic way that causes a necessary reaction. Without disputing the fact, that this is good news, as no war in history has come to an end with a gun rather than a table of forgiveness and negotiations.

But we must be mindful of a trojan horse, in computing, a trojan horse is a program designed to breach the security of a computer system while ostensibly performing some innocuous function. It’s a kind of hollow wooden statue of a horse, in which the Greeks are said to have concealed themselves and enter Troy during war times and we are at war, every move of our enemies should be suspicious to us.

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This couldn’t have been an issue only if it wasn’t an experience in the Northeast, without painting the whole picture black, we must acknowledge that a good number of deradicalised insurgents who have repented, rehabilitated are living a normal life without any further violence, and the communities have accepted them in good faith, the women who escaped from bushes are even getting suitors who are marrying them, and is a good way of ending the conflict and typical success of the rehabilitation program. Notwithstanding, they are both men and women who have undergone rehabilitation and still went back to bushes to continue fighting after gathering intel while some have acted as spies in their host communities.

In March 2021, the Executive Governor of Borno State said the operation safe corridor, a military Operation launched in 2016 for the deradicalisation and rehabilitation of ex-Boko Haram members with the aim of reintegrating repentant Boko Haram members into society is not working and must be reviewed.
A typical example of how dangerous this massive surrender could turn out if not properly handled or reviewed is already happening in Afghanistan with the Taliban taking over 80% of the country after the withdrawal of the United States troops leaving the government with the control of only one major city Kabul, which may also fall should things continue the way they currently are.

It’s understandable that not everything can be made public for security reasons, however, community acceptance is of the essence in this instance, therefore revealing modalities reviewed to checkmate the gaps that allow previously rehabilitated insurgents to escape or act as spies are in the interests of all.
Another critical factor is to understand the true reasons behind the massive surrender this time, various stories have emerged in this regard, nevertheless, the official one is that they are running from the heavy military artillery bombardment to save their lives.

But could it also be, they are from the eliminated Shekau factions who have not pledged allegiance to ISWAP and do not have weapons to protect themselves, as most of them are coming out empty-handed with the shield of women and children in the front, if so how long will it take for them to rejoin the bushes when their comrades acquire the capacity to stand against the other faction? History has shown that most people who denounce especially ideology due to force or circumstances end up resurfacing when it’s convenient.

Meanwhile, the possibility of extreme hunger especially in this rainy season and the reality of the recent internal conflicts that resulted in the killing of Shekau and the victory of killing top commanders by the Nigerian Army are evidently possible critical factors in the massive surrender.

If we are to be good students of history in the Northeast with respect to these crises, then we must remember, the only way to end conflicts as indeed this one, is through forgiveness, Negotiations, rehabilitation and non-punitive transitional justice.

We are at a deciding moment where we must choose between the continuation of a decade long insurgency that continues to claims lives or forgive and work towards rebuilding our lost glories.

To aid forgiveness and acceptance of the communities especially those who have lost loved ones, the security who have lost colleagues, and the generally traumatised people, its pertinent to ensure all internally displaced persons have been peacefully resettled, and the remaining insurgents who seize every opportunity to attack security post and kidnapped travellers and raze villages have been overpowered and subjugated. It’s difficult to accept and forgive if the killings of innocents are still ongoing, it’s difficult to forgive, if people can still not access their farms, it’s not easy to forgive if people can still not travel out in peace.

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We must be strong and choose lasting peace over the continuation of battle, but carefully and diligently without making a mortal mistake capable of taking away our strongest hold.

JCI Nigeria Ambassador, Musa Gambo,
Maiduguri, Nigeria.

1 Comment
  1. Zam Obed says

    Nice article. Puts the surrender into perspective.

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