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22 ex-Boko Haram members complete rehabilitation programme in Gombe

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No fewer than 22 former members of Boko Haram and ISWAP have successfully graduated from the Federal Government’s de-radicalisation and rehabilitation programme.

The ceremony took place on Wednesday at Operation Safe Corridor, Malam Sidi, Kwami Local Government Area of Gombe State.

The programme, which was initiated by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2016, aims to encourage members of insurgent and terrorist groups to surrender.

With a total of 2,168 persons rehabilitated since its inception, the initiative focuses on providing a non-kinetic approach to address security challenges in the region.

During the ceremony, the graduates swore an oath of allegiance to the Nigerian state and were presented with certificates and starter packs to support their journey towards self-reliance.

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Chief of Defence Staff Christopher Musa, represented by Major General Mohammed Ahmed, clarified misconceptions about the operation, stating that the processes would be overhauled.

“The operation is a major arm of the military’s non-kinetic offensive against insecurity in the North-East region.

“None of the graduates were linked to terrorism after their graduation. It will be unfortunate for them to be stigmatized and discriminated,” Musa stated.

Musa, while addressing concerns about the programme being a means to reintroduce terrorists into society, assured that the armed forces under his watch will not allow such unfounded imagination to happen.

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Governor Muhammadu Yahaya of Gombe State, represented by Deputy Governor, Manassah Jatau, urged the de-radicalized individuals to become advocates of peace and responsible citizens.

He stated the seriousness of security matters and highlighted the state’s commitment to internal security and home affairs.

Muhammad Alkali, who spoke on behalf of the de-radicalized members, expressed gratitude to President Bola Tinubu for providing them with a second chance.

Alkali pledged, “On behalf of my colleagues, we promise to be good citizens, to use what we learned.”

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