The Borno Government on Wednesday reiterated commitment to rehabilitate and reintegrate repentant Boko Haram insurgents under the Operation Safe Corridor.
The state’s Deputy Governor, Alhaji Usman Durkwa,stateted this when the Coordinator, Operation Safe Corridor, Maj.-Gen. Bamidele Shafa, visited him in Maiduguri.
Operation Safe Corridor was initiated by Federal Government to encourage Boko Haram insurgents to surrender.
The programme is designed to rehabilitate and deradicalise repentant insurgents for possible reintegration into the society.
Durkwa said that the state government would support the exercise to facilitate rehabilitation, reconciliation and reintegration of repentant insurgents in the society.
He disclosed that the government would support sensitisation of communities to promote dialogue and reconciliation to enhance peace restoration in the state.
Durkwa called on victims of insurgency to forgive and accept the repentant insurgents into their folds, noting that the gesture was necessary to end insurgency and achieve lasting peace in the region.
According to him, the state government in collaboration with the Federal Government, United Nations (UN) and development organisations
executed various rehabilitation and reconstruction projects to fast track resettlement of persons displaced by the insurgency in their communities.
Durkwa added that the government also initiated various intervention programmes to address the humanitarian crisis caused by the insurgency.
While commending President Muhammadu Buhari over the support to the victims and release of the Chibok school girls, Durkwa lauded the military over the successes recorded in the counter insurgency campaign.
Shafa said that the visit was part of awareness creation campaign to sensitise communities on the rehabilitation and reintegration programme to promote dialogue at the grassroots.
He noted that such dialogue between community members was imperative to end insurgency and enhance peace restoration in the region.
He added that “it is desirable for community members to forgive and accept repentant insurgents into the society.
“Some of them were forcefully conscripted and they undergone intensive deradicalisation and rehabilitation process to enable them to rejoin the society.
“About 90 of the repentant insurgents would be handed over to government on Saturday,” he said, adding that over 200 repentant insurgents were deradicalised and rehabilitated in its facility.
Shafa disclosed that the repentant insurgents were trained on various trades to enable them to engage in productive activities and become responsible members of the society.
He further revealed that a town hall meeting was conducted in Maiduguri to sensitise relevant stakeholders to the importance of dialogue and forgiveness in the peace building process.
According to him, participants at the meeting suggest the inclusion of clerics and clergy in the programme to enhance deradicalisation process, as well as engagement of the state agencies in monitoring the repentant insurgents in the society.
Shafa, accompanied by members of the committee, paid similar visit to the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai Elkanemi and the Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Idrissa Timta.