North West Governor Adolphe Lele L'Afrique.
What is your appraisal of the National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Committee (NDDRC) created by the Head of State?
The option taken by the Head of State is a welcome initiative and it will give an opportunity to our brothers and sisters who were misled to carry arms and fight to return and lay down their arms. The Head of State has gone further to extend a fatherly hand to them so that they should return and regain their normal lives. The objective of the Head of State is that nation building should be done with everybody including those that have made mistakes. Should they repent they will be received like the biblical prodigal son and together we will build a stronger nation.
What assurance are you giving separatist should they lay down their arms?
I can reassure all our young brothers and sisters who are fighting from the bushes that as soon as they come out from the bushes and lay down their arms, they will be given due consideration and will be treated humanely and decently. They are going to be rehabilitated and reinstated in the society. They should not be afraid that they will be treated badly or brutalised.
With the creation of the NDDRC, what will be done to ensure that those in possession of arms willingly lay them down?
We are sensitising the population about the committee and calling on the fighters to lay down their arms. They can do that through notables, traditional and religious authorities, political leaders, mayors and media practitioners. If possible, they can also go to the nearest administrative unit and declare themselves so that they well be reinstated in the society.
Are there any special measures being put in place to execute the presidential decree on NDDRC?
A centre has been identified to rehabilitate the fighters. They will be trained and reinserted in the society. We are ready to receive and to start taking care of those who will lay down their arms. We have taken measures to implement the decision of the Head of State.
Should they lay down their arms how will they be reintegrated in the society?
The Head of State has instructed administrative authorities in the seven Divisions of the North West Region to work with traditional rulers to look for land that will be given to some of the fighters especially those that were farmers so that they can get back to their normal activities and live their normal lives. We are waiting for the Head of State to appoint the authorities concerned which will give a name and a face to the committee.
Generally what is the security situation in the North West region?
We have some security challenges as the rate of kidnappings and asking for ransom, killings, burnings and looting is on the rise. We have put in place special security measures to ensure that things get to normal. I use this opportunity to call on the population to work with the forces of law and order and administrators for peace to reign. I congratulate all those that have been working for normalcy to return in the region.