Posted by Blessing Olaifa, Abuja | 4 October 2018 | 961 times
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin on Thursday said the second batch of Boko Haram ex-fighters comprising about 157 persons have been deradicalized and ready for re-integration into their various communities.
General Olonisakin who is the National Chairman of Operation Safe Corridor said the ex-fighters have successfully gone through the programme of De-radicalization, Rehabilitation and Re-integration (DRR) in accordance with global best practices and are expected to be re-united with their families in their respective states in Nigeria, and outside the country.
He noted that the 157 surrendered ex-fighters who were admitted into the DRR Camp in December 2017 have been trained in various vocational skills including farming, barbing, tailoring, welding, cosmetology and poultry, among others.
General Olonisakin made the remarks at the Headquarters of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Abuja, during a Stakeholders’ Meeting to work out modalities for the resettlement of the ex-Boko Haram fighters.
He was represented by Rear Admiral Peter Agu Onaji, Chief of Civil-Military Relations, Defence Headquarters, Abuja.
General Olonisakin told the gathering that after a robust rehabilitation programme by the DRR Officials, it was time for stakeholders to review the conduct of the last exercise and see how past errors can be corrected, examine others issues and facilitate a hitch-free transfer of the ex-fighters to the states.
The CDS who commended President Muhammadu Buhari for establishing the Operation Safe Corridor programme in September 2015 to create avenue for Boko Haram fighters to surrender and be reintegrated into their communities, said the programme has remained largely successful with the support of international organisations and global bodies and the Presidential Initiative on the North East.
According to him, the first batch of 95 ex-fighters were admitted into Operation Safe Corridor DRR Camp in July 2017 and have been successfully transferred to their respective state government and have been resettled in line with the individual state’s preferred modalities on security, social-cultural and economic dynamics.
The Coordinator of Operation Safe Corridor, Major General Bamidele M Shafa said following the establishment of the body in 2015 about 310 staff members from various military, security and civil agencies were mobilized and trained on the concepts of the programme based on international best practices and standards.
He said it was heart-warming that there was no inter-agency rivalry in the operations of the OPSC activities so far, stressing the stakeholders meeting was to consolidate on the achievements of the organisation beside deliberating on modalities for the resettlement of the ex-fighters.
•Sourced from The Nation report
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