No repentant Boko Haram absorbed into military – Presidency

By Oluwaseun Sonde

The Presidency has said that it is important for the public to know that none from the 601 former Boko Haram members who voluntarily laid down their arms, graduated from the Federal Government’s de-radicalization and rehabilitation programme recently, has ever been absorbed into the military.

In a statement released by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu on Wednesday, while stepped to clear the false reports that Buhari’s administration is absorbing repentant Boko Haram terrorists into the military.

According to him, “It is important for the public to know that nobody has ever been absorbed into the military from the de-radicalized Boko Haram and there is no such plan for their absorption, the public needs to be reassured that the de-radicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremists of the Buhari administration code named “Operation Safe Corridor”.

“Following an established example from countries with similar experiences, and is supported academically and materially by the European Union and the United Nations.The lead agency for the implementation of the programme in Gombe is the International Organization for Migration, a leading inter-government organization which is represented in Nigeria”, he said.

He noted that this programme does not have a place for hard boiled, ideologically hardened terrorists. It only admits, after careful scrutiny, repentant fighters that were captured and forced to bear arms in the first instance, and there are many who have been drafted by force.

“At the point of their graduation, a determination is made that the former combatants have repented and are better citizens, imbued with genuine nationalism. They must no longer represent a danger to society or to themselves. Where they are certified as such, communities have the duty of accepting them.

Adding that unless they want them to take up arms and resume terrorism from which they have repented, community leaders must work with the relevant agencies to end their rejection. “Buhari administration is a responsible one and is conscious of its duty to the state and society, and to the victims of terror as well as to those who inflicted these pains and losses on our people”.

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