Another 606 Repentant Boko Haram Fighters Set To Be Released Despite Public Outcry
Maj. Gen. Bamidele Shafa, The Coordinator of the programme, announced this at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) in Abuja at a stakeholders’ meeting.
The stakeholders converged to work out ways of transferring the rehabilitated former terrorists to their national and state government authorities for reintegration into the society.
Maj. Gen. Shafa said 25 Nigerians, which includes 14 male adults, 3 female adults and eight children who willingly laid down their arms in the Niger Republic, had been brought in February and were waiting to be reunited with their families.
He noted Operation Safe Corridor was established by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 to allow repentant Boko Haram fighters surrender, go through well structured de-radicalisation and rehabilitation process.
His words: “We are very careful in handling the clients; we do not compromise standards, as any client who exhibits any trait of disloyalty is withdrawn from the programme and transferred for further investigation and prosecution, when necessary.
“Also, the programme is open-ended; that is, when the handlers believe that a client has not been sufficiently de-radicalised, such a client is made to repeat the programme.
“Our purpose is to work out modalities for the smooth transfer of the 606 clients, presently in the camp, to their national and states’ authorities for re-integration”.
Furthermore, the Chairman of Operation Safe Corridor and Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, explained that over 1,000 high profile Boko Haram and Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) had been captured and investigated.
He said out the number, 500 had been convicted by courts of competent jurisdiction.
“Since the establishment of Operation Safe Corridor, 2,000 low-profile Boko Haram terrorists/ISWAP members have laid down their arms, out of which about 1,000 have been processed by Operation Safe Corridor.
“Also, over 250 members, including two foreign nationals, have been successfully reintegrated by their national and state governments.
“The remaining 692 clients are currently undergoing the De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration Programme at the De-radicalization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration Camp in Gombe and Bulumkutu Rehabilitation Centre in Maiduguri.
“It is expected that more clients will be absorbed into the programme this year”, he said.