A total of 151 repentant Boko Haram have been released by the military to Borno State after rehabilitation.
Coordinator of Operation Safe Corridor, the Federal Government’s rehabilitation centre for surrendered Boko Haram, Maj Gen Bamidele Safa disclosed at the handing over of the repentant men in Maiduguri yesterday that 152 insurgents were admitted and rehabilitated at the Gombe camp for over a year.
He said one of the repentant men died last week from complicated health challenge following his admittance at a public hospital before they were brought from the rehabilitation centre. He said the remaining 151 men being handed over to the government include teenagers and adults.
“These 151 men which include 19 teenagers and 132 adults have gone through 52 weeks (about a year and four months) programme. They graduated since Novemeber 2018 but we took them back to the centre where they spent 32 weeks due to some challenge then,” Shafa said at the handing over.
He explained that the electioneering period late 2018 and the upsurge in Boko Haram attacks compelled the centre to postpone their exit after the chief of defence directive.
He said the repentant men were given vocational training, introduced to western education, social activities, psycho-social treatment and counselling among others.
He said they have pledged their allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria through a quasi-judicial court and assured of their resolve not to return to terrorism or insurgency again.
Borno Deputy Governor, Umar Kadafru who received the repentant men on behalf of the state government said the state ministry of poverty alleviation would design programme to accommodate the men and appropriately re-integrate them back to the society.
He was reacting to the appeal of one of the repentant men to the government to help them start their lives afresh with the skill they have received at the centre’s vocational training unit.