By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Nigerian Military has said that 603 repentant Boko Haram members currently undergoing Deradicalization Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DRR), Programme will graduate in July 2020.
Speaking yesterday at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja while giving update on the successes of Operation Safe Corridor, (OPSC), Major General, John Enenche, Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, said most of the rehabilitated members of the sect who earlier completed their rehabilitation programmes are currently using their skills to help others.
He said since inception in 2016, OPSC coordinated by Major General, Bamidele Shafa, has admitted 893 ex-combatants for the Programme out of which 280 including 2 Chadians have been successfully reintegrated back into the society and are putting their skills to use.
“ Also in Bama, a young man who learnt barbing as a vocation has successfully empowered 4 locals and is happily married with children.”
Speaking further, Enenche said “the concept and conduct of Operation Safe Corridor is not a process of assembling raw repentant ex-combatants to inject back into the society by the Military. Rather, it is an international best practice for conflict management backed by relevant laws with the concurrence of key stakeholders such as international organizations and MDAs among others.
“The concept of Operation Safe Corridor (OPSC) is that of a unique non-kinetic operation aimed at giving hope to ex-combatants who willingly give up their arms to embrace peace. It is a Defence Headquarters (DHQ)-led multi-agency humanitarian effort based on De-radicalization, Rehabilitation and Re-Integration (DRR) of ex-combatant Boko Haram members that willingly surrender, which was established in September 2015 and became operational in 2016.
“The Operation SAFE CORRIDOR (OPSC) is guided by among other provisions such as International Humanitarian and Human Rights Laws. It is being administered by 468 staff drawn from 17 organizations including the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), Law Enforcement and Security Agencies, other Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) including North East Development Commission (NEDC) as well as locals from Gombe, where the DRR camp is located. The scheme also enjoys widespread collaboration and support of local and international NGOs.
“The key implementation partners are:
United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), International Organization for Migration (IOM), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Department For International Development (DFID), Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) and North-East Regional Initiative (NERI).”