In his latest chat with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Minister for Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed has defended the Federal Government’s continued pardon of repentant Boko Haram terrorists.
The decision to pardon, instead of trying and prosecuting the insurgents has been largely unpopular with majority of Nigerians, who feel it is just another example of the Buhari-led Federal Government’s continued romance with those terrorising Nigeria.
Lai, who is still in the United States where he is briefing the international press on the successes of the current regime, said rehabilitation of the so-called insurgents is in line with what is obtainable in other countries.
“I personally spoke to the military authority before I left Nigeria and they said what they were doing is what the global practice dictates about soldiers that surrendered that should be treated as prisoners of war,” NAN quoted Mohammed to have said.
“You cannot just shoot them because there are international conventions that give rights also to prisoners of war.
“What the military is doing is that, when they surrender, they profile them to ensure that they are genuine and reintegrate them into the society.”
It can be recalled that Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund, one of the front runners of the Taliban’s recent successful take-over of Afghanistan, was one of the members of the “Taliban Five” — a group of high-value leaders held at Guantanamo Bay until they were swapped by President Barack Obama back in 2014.
Nigerians feel the same thing will happen with the presidential pardon these people are getting.