By Taiwo Adebowale
Atiku Abubakar has commended the patriotic and commonsensical call by the Borno Elders Forum, on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the practice of releasing so called repentant Boko Haram members.
A statement signed by his Media Adviser, Mazi Paul Ibe on Saturday, January 12 and delivered to the Atlantic Post in Abuja said the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party fully aligns with this call and feels vindicated because twice in 2018, he gave precisely this counsel to the President, which he did not heed.
“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 deradicalised or repentant.
“As Atiku Abubakar said last year, and says again, 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.
“Abubakar urges 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 Abubakar therefore advises 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.
“The PDP Presidential candidate commends the Borno Elders Forum and urges other bodies of elders to learn from their sagacious courage to speak the truth to power.
“Finally, Atiku Abubakar serves notice to Boko Haram/ISWAP that if he is elected President of Nigeria, there will be no release of any captured terrorist. Instead, they must expect the harshest punishment the law allows. Under Atiku Abubakar, criminals will not profit from their criminality.”