No fewer than 601 members of the ‘batch 4 2019 clients’ have graduated from the De-radicalization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DRR) Camp, in Mallam Sidi, Kwami LGA of Gombe State.
Speaking on Saturday, at the graduation ceremony the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, appreciated North East Development Commission for its support.
General Olonisakin called on state governments to assist in the integration of the ‘clients’ (repentant Boko Haram Terrorists).
The Chief of Defence Staff, who was represented by Director Education, Rear Admiral V C Okeke, noted that the 601 clients had denounced membership of the sect, before a 12-man judicial committee.
He, however, warned those yet to embrace the DRR programme to do so, adding that it will be in their own interest.
“As these clients are being reintegrated, let me seize this opportunity to advise members of Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP, still lurking around in the bushes to lay down their arms, embrace peace and join the re-radicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration programme in their own interest.
“To this end, the armed forces in Nigeria and other security agencies operating in the North East will provide safe passage for you to lay down your arms for good.
“I have observed steady progress of the scheme and no doubt it is a working strategy complementing other efforts of the Federal government to restore peace in the North East,” the Chief of Defense Staff stated.
The Coordinator Operation Safe Corridor Maj. Gen. Bamidele Shafa revealed that 606 clients were admitted for batch 4 of 2019 de-radicalization programme, stressing that to have 601 of them graduate is a major success.
“Today, we are witnessing a major achievement of the Federal government of Nigeria at ensuring lasting peace in the North East. Since the commencement of operation Safe Corridor in 2016, a total of 914 clients have undergone the deradicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration programme.
“Among which 280 including two Chadians have been successfully transferred to their Nationals and state authorities for reintegration. Am glad to inform you that these clients have been fully reintegrated and wholly accepted by their host communities.
“Since 2017 when the first set of 29 graduated and reintegrated, there has been no negative report concerning any of them. Today, the largest set of 601 are graduating for reintegration to their nation and state.
“Out of the 601 graduates of the batch 4 client which arrived in 2 chalk on 27 November and 14 December 2019, 592 are Nigerians from 10 states of the federation while 14 are foreign Nationals from Cameroon, Chad and Niger,” Maj. Gen. Shafa noted.
He said out of this number, three died of health complications while one was referred for further medical treatment at the Neuro-psychiatric Hospital in Maiduguri.
Shafa said another one was withdrawn on the disciplinary ground and transferred for re-categorization and prosecution.
“On arrival at the camp, the clients went through documentation processes to obtain vital background information after which they were subjected to comprehensive medical screening to determine their health status.
“Their DNA samples were also collected while their biometrics were captured on National Data using the National Identity Management Commission, (NIMC) facilities for future references.
“The background information serves as a guide for the experts; Local Treatment Team (LTT) to properly place the clients for treatment therapies and vocational training. The LTT are specialised experts in various fields of deradicalization and rehabilitation therapies drawn from the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS),” he said.
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Meanwhile, Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum who was represented by the state commissioner for Justice and Attorney General Kaka Lawan commended the resilience of the 601 clients for successfully passing through the deradicalization process.