BY ADEYEMI AKANJI – The Nigerian Army on Saturday graduated 601 former members of Boko Haram terrorists group, who renounced activities of the sect and were trained in different trade, rehabilitated and now rẹintegrated back to the society.
The repentant Boko Haram terrorists were formally deradicalized and graduated from the DRR Camp at Malam Sidi in Kwami Local Government Area of Gombe State by the Coordinator of Operation Safe Corridor, Major General MB Shafa on Saturday.
Speaking at their graduation ceremony, Major General MB Shafa said that before the commencement of the process, the DNA samples of all of them were collected just as their biometrics were also captured on National Data using the National Identity Management Commission, (NIMC) facilities for easy future references.
Shafa added that the background information served as guide for the experts; Local Treatment Team (LTT) to enable them properly place the clients for treatment therapies and vocational training.
The Coordinator of the Operation Safe CORRIDOR in Gombe further said that the LTT personnel are specialised experts in various fields of deradicalisation and rehabilitation therapies drawn from the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS).
The Army explained that out of the 601 graduates of the batch 4 client which arrived in 2 batches on November 27 and December 14, 2019, 592 are Nigerians from 10 states across the country while 14 are foreigners from neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger republics.
It also said that out of the number, three died of health complications issues while one was referred for further medical treatment at the Neuro-psychiatric Hospital in Maidugurí just as another one was withdrawn on disciplinary ground and transferred for re-categorization and prosecution.
Shafa also said that on arrival at the camp before the training commenced, the former Boko Haram members were made to undergo through documentation processes in order to obtain vital background information after which they were subjected to comprehensive medical screening to determine their health status.
General Shafa noted that the concept of Operation Safe Corridor is a unique non-kinetic operation aimed at giving hope to ex-combatants, who willingly give up their arms to embrace peace.
Among the deradicalized former Boko Haram militants are two indigenes of Bauchi State who Governor Bala Mohammed promised to accept and reintegrated back to their various communities to start life afresh.