ABUJA – The Defence Headquarters(DHQ) has said that the stories of the de-radicalised Boko Haram ex-fighters being recruited into the Nigerian military is untrue.
This was contained in press statement issued Sunday by the Acting Director of Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in Abuja.
Nwachukwu urged the public to discountenance the rumours being peddled on the social media.
According to the statement the Defence Headquarters stated that the claims were not just bereft of truth but also ‘laced with mediocrity emanating from poorly researched and uninformed position‘.
The document read in part: “Contrary to these claims, no Boko Haram ex-fighter has been recruited into the Nigerian military and no such plan is in the offing.
“The de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration programme is a Federal Government programme conducted under the auspices of Operation Safe Corridor as a non-kinetic operation.
“Nigeria’s de-radicalisation model is a very effective one, targeted at low risk combatants and has become a classical example in the Lake Chad Basin Region and West Africa,” he said.
The statement added that over 250 repentant insurgents, who willingly abandoned their cause and surrendered to federal troops, had been de-radicalised, rehabilitated and re-integrated into the society.
The defence spokesman averred that Nigeria’s de-radicalisation model was in accordance with global best practices, as being done in Algeria, Colombia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, where persons involved in violent extremism have been de-radicalised and rehabilitated.
The statement further read: “So far in Nigeria, the de-radicalised ex-fighters are doing well in their respective communities, as no adverse report has been recorded against the de-radicalised repentant ex-fighters by Operation Safe Corridor’s monitoring unit.
“There has not been report of molestation or harassment of any sort against them by members of the communities, where they are resettled.
“As a matter of verifiable fact, the reintegrated ex- fighters are doing well in their various endeavours and are positively impacting on their respective communities.
“It is also expedient to state, that the Federal Government of Nigeria has continued to prosecute BHT/ISWAP suspects in courts of competent jurisdiction and over 500 terrorists have so far been convicted.
“Meanwhile, the next round of prosecution of another batch of terrorism suspects is due to commence shortly.
“The Defence Headquarters reiterates its commitment to ensuring a well motivated, trained and equipped Armed Forces that is professionally responsive to national security commitments”, Nwachukwu stressed.