Rehabilitating, reintegrating repentant Boko Haram Members into society
July 26, 2020- Despite incessant attacks by Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist groups on communities and killings of humanitarian workers, some members of the sect are denouncing membership to the sect.
Following the renouncement of their allegiance to the sect, the ex-insurgents are made to undergo the De-radicalisation,
Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DRR) programme in Gombe State, an initiative of the Nigerian Government.
This has however generated a lot of controversies as some Nigerians think they have caused so assive destruction and hurt to the government and Nigerians and do not deserve any form of amnesty.
The Humanitarian Post reports that the Nigerian Army on July 25 released 601 ex-Boko Haram members after completing the DRR programme for six months
Graduating the fourth batch of the ex-insurgents at Malam Sidi community in Kwami Local Government Area of Gome state, the Nigerian Army said they were ready to be reintergrated into the society.
Speaking during the event, Maj.-Gen. Bamidele Shafa, Coordinator of Operation Safe Corridor (OSC) said that the graduating batch of the ex-insurgents were admitted in December 2019.
Shafa said within the six months, they undertook a comprehensive medical test to ascertain their health status that enabled their proper care.
According to him, out of the 606 persons received into the camp; 601 were graduating, three died, one was withdrawn from the programme while the last one was transferred to the Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Maiduguri.
He explained that the three who died was as a result of the terminal sicknesses they already had before coming to camp, while the one withdrawn was on disciplinary grounds for further investigation.
The OSC coordinator also said that the ex-insurgents graduating for re-integration into the society includes 587 Nigerians and 14 foreign nationals from Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic.
He added that they had appeared before a quasi-judicial panel, which according to him was a major requirement, before their reintegration into the society.
He explained that the essence of the panel was for the repentant insurgents to denounce membership of Boko Haram and the Islamic State’s West Africa Province, confess their past misdeeds and take an oath of allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said that the huge number insurgents who willingly surrendered to the Federal Government’s programme was a good sign of peace for the country.
Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, said the DRR programme was a working strategy complementing the efforts of the Federal Government toward restoring peace in the Northeast.
Olonisakin, who was represented by Rear Adm. Vincent Okeke, the Director of Education, Defence Headquarters;
Olonisakin said the repentant insurgents acuired different skills and would be provided funds and starter packs to enable them earn a living and start new lives.
The CDS commended the Federal Government’s efforts in ensuring peace and called on ” Boko Haram and ISWAP members still lurking around in the bush to lay down their arms, embrace peace and join the DRR programme.”
Also speaking, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Mrs. Sadiya Umar-Farouq, said the Federal Government was committed to the peace and the development of the Northeast.
Umar-Farouq represented by her Head of Special Services, Hajia Nadia Mohammed, said that the Federal Government’s commitment to peace led to the establishment of the Northeast Development Commission.
” The commission was established to expedite the rehabilitation and the development of the Northeast,” she said.
Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno lauded the Federal Government’s efforts in the de-radicalisation of ex-insurgents to make them better members of the society.
Zulum represented by his Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Mr Kaka Lawan, said that the Borno Government was ready to welcome those willing to surrender and give peace a chance.
” Those refusing to surrender, I want to assure you that their days are numbered as the armed forces will soon get them,” he said.
On behalf of the clients, Babagana Mai-Ramri appreciated the Federal Government and the Borno State Government for efforts towards making ex-insurgents useful to the society.
While promising to be good ambassadors of the country, Mai-Ramri appealed to those still fighting in the bush to denounce their membership of the terrorist group and embrace peace.
The North East Development Commission (NEDC), as part of its mandates supported the 601 repentant Boko-Haram, with starter parks to begin their businesses.
Malam Abba Musa, Head of Cooperate Services of NEDC, made the presentation on behalf of the Managing Director, Malam Mohammed Alkali at the graduation ceremony.
Musa said the items donated included Welding Machines, Carpentry tools, Barbing kits and Generators, Washing Machines and Cosmetology.
He said the aim of the presentation was to support the ex combatants to be self employed because they were going back to their communities after their training in camp.
He urged the beneficiaries to use the packs they were given for the right purposes they were meant for, and to become employers of labour in future.
Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State, commended the repentant terrorists for taking the bold steps to change and be useful to society.
Yahaya, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Manneseh Jatau, he enjoined the beneficiaries to contribute to the growth of their communities and Nigeria at large.
“While we collectively appreciate your decision to change, there is the compelling need for this change to be sustained, so as to ensure that it lasts,” he said.
The governor then commended the Nigerian Army, for the significant progress recorded in the fight against insurgency in the country