From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
As the Borno State governor, Umara Zulum was still contemplating on what to do with the repentant Boko Haram, the Catholic Bishop of Kaduna Archdiocese, Manoso Ndagoso has said that the ‘prodigal sons’ should be pardoned and rehabilitated, “because if hardened criminal is given a chance, he can change for the better”.
Fielding questions from Journalists on recent surrendering of some members of Boko Haram to Nigerian Army, Bishop Ndagoso insisted that Nigeria as a nation should help them live again in the society.
Speaking in Christ-manner-like, the Bishop allayed the fears that the repentant Boko Haram may turn out to be pretenders, saying, “if they have evil intention it will show. If they have good intention, good and fine, we will help them”.
The Catholic Cleric argued that there is need to pardon the repentant killer insurgents because prisons have become Correctional Centres which presupposed that they deserved to be corrected.
“Maybe the repentant Boko Haram know that they are under fire, there is no way out so they gave up. You know, conversion comes at different points in life and therefore they might have studied what have been happening for the past 11 to 12 years and have come back.
“No where in the world, even the first two world wars as you fight the war, and use force, diplomacy goes under ground, so actually as the saying goes, no war is completely ever won with the guns.
“So when you are fighting, when force is being used, under ground diplomacy also takes place. So if it is true that this people have come and sincerely too, I think we as a country, as a nation we have everything it takes to forgive, after all why did we say there should be no death sentence.
“We know that no matter how bad a person is, if he is given a chance anything can happen. Hardened criminals have changed. Therefore if these people have come to surrender to the Army, I think we have obligation as a country to receive them and see what assistance we can give them and to rehabilitate them.
“This is what I mean when we no longer call them prisons but correctional centers. A place that someone has done something in the past but today he or she realises that this is not correct, therefore the person can change and so we must give this people opportunity and give them the benefit of the doubt.