The Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole (the anti-Boko Haram counterterrorism campaign of the federal government) Major General Lucky Irabor, is advocating for a South African style Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address the conflict issues in the northeast.
Irabor made the call on Saturday at the inaugural Town Hall Meeting of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, in Maiduguri.
He said that with the Commission, if established, would bring lasting peace to the region, which has been devastated by the Islamist insurgency.
“For us in the Operation Lafiya Dole, we believe that a Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be necessary because, whether you like it or not, the psychological trauma the people went through is enormous.
“And because of this and the nature of the atrocities committed by the insurgents, reconciliation is very necessary,” Irabor said.
He said that since the repentant insurgents and their relations were still part of society, reconciliation was the only resort if a lasting solution is to be achieved.
“The atrocities committed are so much, but that is not to say that at one point or the other, they will not return.
“They and their relations are part and parcel of the society, so one day they will come back,” he said.
The Commander, however, said that the final decision on the issue lay with the Federal Government.
“ For me, I feel that the Commission will be necessary if we are to achieve the kind of peace we all want in the northeast.
“I am not speaking for the Federal Government, but I know given the knowledge of peace-building that I have, one day the Commission will be necessary.”
He also promised that the military would reopen all the highways in the state in due course.
“The road linking Konduga-Bama and Banki border town will be reopened in due course.
“We have not re-opened it to commuters because there is still one or two things to be done,” Irabor explained.
He explained that the road was closed because of its proximity to the Sambisa forest, the hideout of the insurgents.
“We are trying to rout all elements of terrorism in the forest. Until that is done, the road will remain closed, but that will not be too long from now.”