By Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja
The Federal Government, through the Defence Headquarters, has reintegrated 601 ex-Boko Haram terrorists including 14 foreign nationals from Cameroon, Chad and Niger into the society through their respective national and state authorities.
Coordinator of Operation Safe Corridor, Major General Bamidele Shafa, disclosed this on Saturday at the DRR Camp in Mallam Sidi, Gombe State.
Shafa said the concept of Operation Safe Corridor was a unique non-kinetic operation aimed at giving hope to ex-combatants, who willingly give up their arms to embrace peace.
He said, “On arrival at the camp, the clients went through documentation processes to obtain vital background information after which they were subjected to comprehensive medical screening to determine their health status.
“Their DNA samples were also collected while their biometrics were captured on national data using the National Identity Management Commission facilities for future references.
“The background information serves as guide for the experts; Local Treatment Team (LTT) to properly place the clients for treatment therapies and vocational training.
“The LTT are specialised experts in various fields of deradicalisation and rehabilitation therapies drawn from the Nigeria Correctional Service.”
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The repentant terrorists were also made to swear an oath of allegiance to the federal republic of Nigeria and were told that any recourse to criminality in whatever form will result to loss of all the privileges they are entitled to, while they would face the full wrath of the law when caught.
Recall that the Defence headquarters had disclosed a fortnight ago that the DRR programme, which is a multi-agency programme under Operation Safe Corridor (OPSC), had recorded tremendous success since inception in 2016.
Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche had in a briefing disclosed that that Operation Safe Corridor had so far admitted 893 ex-combatants for the programme out of which 280 including two Chadians had earlier been successfully reintegrated back into the society through their respective national and state authorities.
He pointed out that the DRR programme is being administered by 468 staff drawn from 17 organisations including the armed forces, International NGOs, law enforcement and security agencies, other Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).