Molly Kilete, Abuja
The coordinator of terrorism de-radicalisation programme Operation Safe Corridor, Major-General Bamidele Shafa, said on Thursday that 606 ex-Boko Haram fighters are set to be reunited with their families after undergoing rehabilitation under the federal initiative.
Gen Shafa made this known at the opening of a stakeholder meeting to work out modalities for transferring the former terrorists to their national and state government authorities for reintegration held at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.
According to the general, 25 Nigerians, including 14 male adults, three female adults and eight children, who voluntarily laid down their arms in Niger Republic had been repatriated in February and awaiting reintegration.
The coordinator, noting that Operation Safe Corridor was established by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 to create a means for repentant Boko Haram fighters to surrender and go through a well-structured de-radicalization and rehabilitation programme, said since its inception, 893 repentant Boko Haram fighters referred to as ‘clients’ have been admitted into the programme, out of which 280 including two Chadians have been transferred to their respective national and state authorities.
On rumours making the rounds that ex-terrorists were being recruited into the Nigerian Armed Forces, Gen Shafa said: “I wish to categorically refute the claim and assure Nigerians that none of the rehabilitated Nigerians from OPERATION SAFE CORRIDOR De-radicalization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration has been recruited into the Nigerian Military or any sister security agencies as stringent measures have been put in place to prevent such from happening.”