Saturday, March 25, 2023

594 ex-Boko Haram insurgents graduate from FG’s rehabilitation programme

The commandant said six Christians were among those who participated in the deradicalisation programme.

• March 25, 2023
Boko Haram insurgents
Boko Haram insurgents used to illustrate the story

The Nigerian Army, on Saturday, graduated 594 ex-Boko Haram members after undergoing six months Deradicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DRR) programme in Gombe State.

The graduation ceremony of the repentant terrorists took place at Malam Sidi camp in the Kwami Local Government Area of the state.

The camp commandant, Col. Uche Nnabuihe, said that out of the 594 who underwent the training, three were from Niger and one from the Chad Republic.

Mr Nnabuihe further said of the 590 Nigerians,15 were from Adamawa, 495 from Borno,16 Kano, three Gombe, 16 were from Yobe, 13 were from Kaduna, and one was from Kogi.

Others were 12 from Bauchi, five each from Jigawa and Katsina, four from Kebbi, two from Zamfara, and one each from Nasarawa and Plateau.

The commandant said six Christians were among those who participated in the deradicalisation programme.

Mr Nnabuihe explained that the ex-insurgents include Regular Batch 6, 2002 and Special Batch 4, 2002 clients that arrived at the DRR camp between September 3, 2022, and October 8, 2022, for the mandatory programme.

Mr Nnabuihe said the programme included psycho-social and drug abuse interventions, recreational activities,  introduction to western education and skills training.

“The clients were trained on certain vocations meant to equip them with skills for self-reliance after reintegration into their communities.

“In this regard, 85 clients were trained in barbing as a vocation, 81 clients trained in shoemaking, 158 clients chose welding, while 213 clients selected tailoring.

“Also, 38 clients were trained in carpentry while 28 learnt skills in laundry services.”

He added that there was also a mandatory integrated farming activity in agro, poultry and fish, which all the clients participated in.

Mr Nnabuihe said the clients voluntarily confessed their past, denounced their membership of Boko Haram and swore an oath of allegiance to be loyal, obedient and responsible citizens.

The commandant added that the repentant terrorists also promised not to rejoin the sect or any unlawful organisation.

Earlier, Maj.-Gen. Joseph Maina, coordinator, Operation Safe Corridor (OSC), said the ex-insurgents were ready to be reintegrated into society.

Mr Maina said the Defence Headquarters and critical stakeholders had expanded the infrastructure in the camp and ensured continuous improvement in operations in line with best global practices.

“A 320-capacity bed hostel was constructed by the Defence Headquarters while the International Organisation for Migration built a 50-bed capacity hostel and expanded the operational training centre.

“Currently, the Federal Ministry of Justice is constructing a 400-bed hostel, which is expected to be completed in a couple of months.

“It is therefore envisaged that these projects would increase OSC capacity to process more clients when completed.”

He stated that the next set of clients to be admitted for the programme would be exposed to new vocations such as phone repairs, bakery and bricklaying.

Mr Maina appreciated the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, the OSC National Steering Committee, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, security agencies, Gombe State Government and implementing partners.


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