No fewer than 594 rehabilitated Boko Haram members have graduated from Federal Government's Operation Safe Corridor's De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration camp in Malam Sidi, Kwami Local Government Area of Gombe State.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, the camp Commandant, Col. Uche Nnabuihe, said, “Fifteen clients hail from Adamawa, 495 from Borno, 16 from Yobe, 16 from Kano, three from Gombe, 13 from Kaduna, one from Kogi, 12 from Bauchi, five from Jigawa, five from Katsina, four from Kebbi, one from Nasarawa, one from Plateau, while two are from Zamfara states.”
Nnabuihe said out of the 594 graduating repentant terrorists, ‘'590 are Nigerians, while four others are foreigners; three Nigeriens, and one Chadian.''
The camp commandant stated that “588 clients are Muslims, while six are Christians.”
He explained that upon arrival, medical tests were conducted on them while their data were captured by the National Identity Management Commission.
Nnabuihe said, “Today marks yet another milestone in the de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration programme for regular Batch Six 2002 and Special Batch 4 2002 clients that arrived the DRR camp between September 2022 and October 8, 2022, for the mandatory de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration programme.
Upon arrival, the clients, totalling 594, were subjected to comprehensive physical and medical test by a combined team of medical experts from the DRR camp clinic and Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe.
The medical tests were aimed at ascertaining the health status of the clients towards providing proper and adequate care during DRR training cycle.”
Nnabuihe added that “they were trained in skills for self-reliance after re-interpretation with their communities in this regard. Eighty-five clients trained as barbers, 81 clients trained in shoemaking, 158 clients chose welding as vocation of choice, while 213 clients selected tailoring, more so, 38 clients were trained in carpentry, while 28 learnt skills in laundry services. All the clients participated in the mandatory integrated farming, training activities which include agro, poultry and fish farming.”
On his part, Coordinator, Operation Safe Corridor, Maj. Gen. Joseph Maina, decried the impact of Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East region, noting that it had continued to impact negatively on the lives and livelihoods of the people and on development.
He said, “It's on record that the activities of these groups have led to the displacement of over two million people internally and so many others driven into neighbouring countries as refugees.
“Recognising the limits of pure military solution and the urgent need to end the untold suffering, the Federal Government introduced Operation Safe Corridor as a non-kinetic multi-agency approach in the support of military actions since 2015.”
Meanwhile, a repentant Boko Haram member, Muhammad Abba, during the graduation ceremony, apologised to Nigerians for their atrocities on various communities in the country.
Abba said, “We apologise for our various wrongs to our communities, and everyone sitting here. We extend our apology to all and sundry in the various communities that we come from; we are really very sorry and we are not going back to the very atrocities.
“We have taken the oath of allegiance to our peaceful, loving country, Nigeria. We know the consequences of taking an oath with the Quran or with a Holy Bible.
If you betray your oath, Allah will not be happy with you. He will punish you, even if you escape the security of Nigeria, you can't escape Allah ; we are certain of this. We will be faithful, loyal, faithful to the allegiance and oath we have taken.”