By Peter Uwumarogie
Malam-Sidi (Gombe State) – No fewer than 15 ex-Boko Haram fighters have been rehabilitated under the De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DRR) programme in Gombe State.
Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), disclosed this at the graduation ceremony of a rehabilitation programme for the ex-insurgents in Gombe on Friday.
Olanisakin, represented by Maj.-Gen. Bamidele Shafa, the Coordinator, Operations Safe Corridor (OPSC), said those graduating were the DRR special batch of the programme, adding that others would soon be admitted.
He stated that since the inception of the programme, OPSC had admitted 287 clients into the camp and out of which 253, including two Chadians, had been successfully transferred to their state and national authorities for re-integration.
According to him, these groups of persons are doing well in their various communities as there had been no report of hostility against them or any recorded case of recidivism.
“The clients graduating today were tried and convicted by court of competent jurisdiction and transferred to OPSC for rehabilitation to prepare them for integration after serving their jail terms.
“OPSC has also facilitated the release of cleared 1,789 associated persons to their state authorities for rehabilitation and reintegration.
“I wish to appreciate the invaluable support of the governments of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.
“In a couple of days, another set of clients already cleared by Operation Lafiya Dole will be admitted into the camp for the DRR programme,’’ he said.
The CDS commended the government and good people of Gombe state for providing the facility for the programme.
According to him, “this feat will not have been achieved without the support and cooperation of the host who graciously provided the facility being used for the programme’’.
He also commended Federal Government’s enormous sacrifices in ensuring that the fight against insurgency got the needed support.
Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe state, who was represented by Mr Shuaibu Danlami, the Director of Special Services and Political Bureau, commended the army in the fight against insurgents.
He called on the graduates to imbibe the trainings they had been given to impact positively on the society for the benefit of humanity, adding that they owe the society a duty to behave rightly.
A graduate of the programme, Mr Ibrahim Mamman, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the governor for their support to make them better members of the society through the programme, while pledging to contribute positively to better the society.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that as part of the OPSC appreciation to Malam-Sidi Community, the army donated 120 mattresses, 60 bunks and sunk a bore hole at the Government Senior Secondary School in the community.
Also, free medical treatment was provided for 1,500 persons in Malam-Sidi and drugs were also given to them according to the result from the examination carried out on them by health personnel of the army. (NAN)
By Peter Uwumarogie