BREAKING: Army releases 154 former Boko Haram members into society
The Nigerian Army authorities have said that the 154 former Boko Haram members who have completed their rehabilitation programme will be handed over to their respective state authorities for re-integration into the larger society.
The Camp Commandant, Colonel BMG Martins, speaking at a programmer organised for the in Gonbe, on Saturday, said that the 154 former Boko Haram fighters who arrived the camp on December 22, 2017, have completed the programme and would be handed over to their respective state authorities for re-integration into the larger society.
He said, “On arrival at the camp, they were made to go through spiritual counseling, psychotherapy and drug abuse intervention. They were also introduced to western education, arts, social works and sports, against Boko Haram ideologies.”
The Camp Commandant added that, “So far, the following have been with the clients that are graduating from the programme today, they were enthusiastic with the programme, the drug abuse intervention has proved effective with clients who have history of drug abuse, they showed great interest in sports, arts, vocational works and western education and their extremist ideologies are being transformed in order to conform with the acceptable norms and teachings of their religion”.
He further said that the Camp had elements from different ministries, departments and agencies who worked assiduously to achieve a common goal comprising of professionals from the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Drug counselors, clergies, interpreters, psychologists, social workers, educationists, vocational experts, sports and recreations, art therapists and medicals.
Coordinator of Operation Safe Corridor which coordinated the program , Major General BM Shafa, said that Operation Safe Corridors (OPSC) had successfully rehabilitated and re-integrated six associated and facilitated the rehabilitation of 750 cleared men, women and children and their subsequent release to their respective State Governments in collaboration with some domestic and International NGO’s including the United Nations organs.
He added that between July and December 2017, a total of 254 clients were admitted into OPSC for the De-radicalization, Rehabilitation and Re-integration (DRR) programme with the first batch of 95 clients discharged in February this year and were being successfully re-integrated by their respective State Governments.
Gombe state Governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, who was represented by his Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Dahiru Buba Biri, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for initiating the programme which he said has tremendously improved the security situation in the North-East.
One of the ex Boko Haram fighters, Mala Abba Usman Shua, while commending the efforts of the Nigerian military in creating a safe environment for everyone, confessed that they had been living in bondage of a wrong ideology.
He commended the camp activities which he said had been going on without any of them experiencing any form of molestation or discrimination.
The fear of the general public have been allayed on the dangers posed by activities of Boko Haram insurgents who have been demobilised, rehabilitated and reintergrated into the society considering that they have become good citizens of the country having renounced their acts of terrorism through rigorous psychological teachings.
Meanwhile, the fear was allayed by the Emir of Fika in Yobe State, one the States in the North-East ravaged by the acts of terrorism by the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists, Alhaji (Dr) Muhammad Abali Muhammad Idris during the release of 154 ex Boko Haram fighters to the Society by the Nigerian Army’s Operation Safe Corridors (OPSC) in Gombe on Saturday.
The Emir, Alhaji (Dr.) Muhammad Abali Muhammad Idris spoke on behalf of other traditional rulers from Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States at the graduation discharge ceremony of the rehabilitated ex Boko Haram fighters held at the De-radicalization, Rehabilitation and Re-integration camp, Mallam Sidi, Gombe state.
According to the Emir, the strategy would help in bringing those still hiding in the Boko Haram camps to surrender and further help in achieving success in the fight against insurgency.
While allaying the fears of the general public, the Emir said that, “There will be some challenges at the community level, maybe some people will be very apprehensive of seeing some characters who have killed their relatives or something. We the traditional institution need to do a lot to assure the people that these people are harmless. They should tell the public that a lot has been done to de-radicalize them and that it is very important that we allow them to reintegrate them to the society.”