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Army Hands Over 151 Ex-boko Haram Insurgents To Bosg For Onward Reintegration Into The Society

By Ahmed Abu, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri

As part of deradicalization and post Insurgency peace building process of the Federal Government, the Nigerian Army through Presidential Initiative "Operation Safe Corridor" has handed over 151 deradicalised Boko Haram members to the Borno State Government for onward reintergration back to the society.

The hand over was done after the ex Boko haram insurgents have undergone intensive 17 months of deredicalization process and training in.various skills.

While handing over the 151 former Boko haram insurgents on Monday at the Youths Rehabilitation Centre, Maiduguri, the Chairman of the Operation Safe Corridor, the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Olunisekin said "the safe corridor is a Federal Government initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari to give opportunity all Boko Haram members to repent and surrender."

"So that they will be deradicalized and integrated back into the society. I urge other Boko Haram members out there to emulate them and come back home as government and the society are ready to accept them," Gabriel said.

Represented by the Coordinator, Operation Safe Corridor, Major General, Bamidele Shafa said "today we are handing over 151 former Boko Haram members who denounced their membership and vulunterrily surrendered to the military, and underwent 52 weeks deradicaluzation process and training and now good citizens ready for onward reintegration back to the community ".

He said : "The 151 Ex Boko Haram members who consists of 132 adults, 19 teenagers, while one gave up the ghost, as a result of health challenges, went through several training and deradicalizarion proces, which includes, psychotherapy , drugs counseling,as well as training in tailoring, cosmetology. Catering. Barbing, welding among others "

" I therefore urge the general public to find space in their heart and embrace them, forgive and forget so that they are reintegrated back to the society, as they have now changed to a new leaf and are ready to be intergrated back to the society," Olunisekin said.

Receiving the freed repentant insurgents, the Borno state Governor, Prof. Babagsba Zulum directed the traditional rulers to ensure that they accepted back to the society without stigmatization, humiliation or infringing on their right.

The governor who was represented by his State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Umar Usman Kadafur said "I also directed the State Ministry for Poverty Alleviation and Youths Empowerment to draw up plans to assist the repentant brothers with grant to start up their businesses in the various trades they were trained on".

Addressing the former Boko Haram members, Prof. Zulum said " I assured that you are not going to be intimidated, humiliated or your right infringed upon. I have directed traditional rulers to ensure that you are protected."

" I therefore, urge other members of Boko Haram insurgents out there in bushes to emulate you and laydown their arms by surredering to the military,.

"We, the government is ready to embrace you and take care of you, as there is ample opportunities waiting them", Zulum said.

Speaking on behalf of the repentant Book Haram insurgents, one 'Kyari Alhaji Mustapha appreciated the Federal Government for giving them the opportunity to repent and deradicalication training they recieved and Borno state government for receiving them, caring for them while assuring that they will be law abiding citizens.

"We thank the Federal government for this opportunity because we were treated with kid gloves. We have undergone psychotherapy, drugs, counselling, and training in various trades such as tailoring, welding, Carpentry, catering barbing among others.

"We also appeal to the Borno state government to assist us with starter up pack to establish our businesess and even train others , as many of us have families, while others need to go back to school " Kyari added.