Atiku Hails Borno Elders Over Opposition To Release Of Insurgents


The presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),Atiku Abubakar, yesterday described as patriotic the call by the Borno Elders Forum, on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the practice of releasing repentant Boko Haram members.
The former Vice President, who said he has been vindicated over the call, added that he aligned himself with the position of the elders, pointing out that twice in 2018, he gave precisely this counsel to the President, which he did not heed.
Atiku, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe said, “It makes no military or practical sense to release hardened terrorists, who have taken the very precious lives of members of the Nigerian Armed Forces, on the flimsy excuse that they have been de-radicalised or repentant.
“Any right thinking person can see that escalation of the war on Nigeria by Boko Haram/ISWAP, coincides with the introduction of this repugnant policy by the Muhammadu Buhari administration.”
The former Vice President urged President Muhammadu Buhari to cast his mind back to the testimony of Abba Umar, a Boko Haram commander who after his arrest, boasted that he would return to join the sect in Sambisa if he was ever released.
Atiku, therefore, advised President Buhari to show single minded resolve and commitment to defeating the common enemies of “our nation and to do so without betraying any weakness, as this will only embolden the terrorists.”
He, however, commended the Borno Elders Forum and urged other bodies of elders to learn from their sagacious courage to speak the truth to power.
Atiku warned Boko Haram/ISWAP that if elected President, there will be no release of any captured terrorist. “Instead, they must expect the harshest punishment the law allows.”
The former Vice President added that under his government,  ”criminals will not profit from their criminality.”