Shocking: About 559 Ex-Boko Haram Fighters Rehabilitation and Reintegration Into The Societty Begins 

 

The Military High Command, on Tuesday, disclosed that no fewer than 559 ex- Boko Haram fighters are presently undergoing rehabilitation under one of its programmes being controlled by Operation Safe Corridor (OPSC) called Deradicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DRR) in Gombe State.

 

Gen. Lucky Irabor,  the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), revealed this during the Stakeholders’ Meeting of OPSC at Defence headquarters, Abuja.

He also discharged reports alleging that some of the over 1,000 rehabilitated ex-Boko Haram fighters have been enlisted into the Nigerian military.

Reports gas it that there had been apprehension in some camps over purported enlistment of rehabilitated ex-fighters into the military and paramilitary agencies howbeit, the military has always explained the apprehensions as “unfounded”, pointing out that there are rigid cover put in place to avert such.

Represented at the meeting by the Chief of Defence Training and Operations, Maj.-Gen. Adeyemi Yekini, Irabor maintained that none of such ex-fighters would as well be enlisted into any of the sister security agencies in the country.

He added that OPSC had improved the programme’s standards, practices and procedures over the years, making the initiative a standard that had been repeated in all the Lake Chad Basin countries, stating that it has also drawn out the interest of both local and international bodies including the academia.

 

He mentioned, “The DRR Programme consists of psychological humanitarian treatments that reassure and provide alternatives to low-profile combatants through psycho-social/psycho-spiritual therapies, recreations, vocational training, and introductory western education, thereby countering BHT/ISWAP ideologies and reducing their recruitment drive while depleting the critical mass of their fighting force.

“The programme has so far graduated over 1,000 clients including 16 foreign nationals, who have been successfully reintegrated by their national and state governments. A total of 559 new clients are currently going through the DRR Program at the DRR Camp in Gombe State.”

General Irabor noted that the avenue, practices, procedures, strategies, and tactics of the military in its counter-insurgency operation had continued to progress, to efficiently halt the vague nature of the threat.

He affirmed that the initial response was a single service operation that was restricted to only the formations and units based in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States.

“However, as time passed, several task forces were formed, eventually leading to the formation of a Theatre Command with several components including a Naval Task Force and an Aviation Task Force to weaken the insurgents.

“In furtherance of this objective, we are committed to forging stronger synergy between the Services and other security agencies. All of these efforts have re-energised the fight against the insurgents, and the AFN has continuously made progress towards ending the war in favour of the Nigerian government,” the CDS noted.

 

The Coordinator of OPSC, Brig.-Gen. Joseph Maina, on his part, restated that the operation commenced in September 2015 to help willing and repentant Boko Haram members to yield and go through an organized DRR programme.

He stated further that OPSC was a multi-agency, multi-national humanitarian program supported by Nigeria’s Constitution, as well as International Humanitarian and Human Right Laws, stating that OPSC had accepted no fewer than 1,070 clients consisting 1,064 Nigerians and 16 foreign nationals from Cameroon, Chad and Niger since 2016.

“It is also important to mention that one client was repatriated to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital for expert psychiatric management during the initial documentation stages of the programe.

“All the foreign clients were transferred to their respective national authorities for reintegration. Presently, there are 559 clients undergoing the programme in the camp, out of which two clients are Chadian citizens.

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