Governor Babagana Umara Zulum has approved the engagement of 84 medical doctors, 365 nurses and midwives, 45 pharmacists, and 100 health technicians and other support staff, making 594 personnel being added to Borno’s healthcare sector.
Zulum announced the recruitment on Monday in Maiduguri at the end of a meeting with Borno’s public healthcare stakeholders attended by the Chairman of Borno Assembly’s Committee on Health, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Salihu Kwayabura, Chairman, National Association of Nurses and Midwives, Umar M. Shettima, and heads of the State’s Health Management Board, Contributory Health Scheme, and Primary Healthcare Development Agency amongst other stakeholders. The meeting held at the Government House.
Of the 365 nurses and midwives, the Governor explained, half were fresh graduates of colleges while the others were recruited from experienced persons who had retired from the Borno civil service after years of serving in hospitals as nurses and midwives. Zulum said they have now been recruited on contract.
On the 84 medical doctors, the Governor said, some were recruited as permanent staff while some are being engaged on contract and sabbatical services.
Zulum noted that the 45 pharmacists and 100 technicians and supportive staff he approved, would work in laboratories and other diagnostic sections as key components of the health sector.
The Governor said the far-reaching decision, aimed to drastically increase the number of healthcare professionals across Borno State so as to bridge existing gaps in citizens-doctors and nurses ratio and to eventually match the increase of hospitals and primary healthcare centres in the state, 51 of which were established by the administration.
Zulum also announced that he had given approval for the State College of Nursing and Midwifery to begin annual foundation programmes that will aim to admit 200 student nurses and midwives annually. He said the foundation will commence with initial 135 student nurses, with five drawn from each of Borno’s 27 local government areas.
The Governor said the State will however enter an agreement with all students who will enjoy steady payment of allowances, that upon graduation from colleges, they will not leave the State, until after working in the State’s health sector over a period of time, for which they will be paid like other workers.
Zulum also announced that the State will soon embark on aggressive construction of new staff quarters for doctors, nurses, and midwives, to encourage productivity.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Kwayabura, pledged the commitment of all stakeholders in the health sector to improved access to quality and affordable medical services in line with Governor Zulum’s development objectives.
Troops of Operation of Lafiya Dole have killed five Boko Haram terrorists and rescued seven kidnapped victims in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State.
In a statement by the Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Major General John Enenche, says that the troops acted on credible intelligence-gathering on the activities of the terrorists at Gwoza Local Government Area of the state.
“Acting on credible intelligence on the activities of BHT/ISWAP terrorists at Hamdaga Makaranta town in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State, troops of 192 Battalion supported by the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE on 6 September 2020 raided the location”.
Read Full Statement Below:
OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE: TROOPS NEUTALISE BOKO HARAM/ISWAP ELEMENTS, RESCUE KIDNAPPED VICTIMS IN GWOZA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF BORNO STATE
1. In continuation of the aggressive clearance operation to stamp out the North-East zone of the country against the insurgents and other criminal elements, troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has recorded tremendous successes against BHT/ISWAP elements. Acting on credible intelligence on the activities of BHT/ISWAP terrorists at Hamdaga Makaranta town in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State, troops of 192 Battalion supported by the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE on 6 September 2020 raided the location. The gallant troops overwhelmed them killing 5, while others escaped with gunshots wounds. Troops also cleared 9 identified isolated BHT/ISWAP structures and farmlands in the area.
2. Furthermore, troops successfully rescued 7 kidnapped victims comprising 2 females and 5 children. Currently, the gallant troops have dominated the area with aggressive patrols.
3. The Military High Command congratulates the gallant troops for their dexterity and encourages them to intensify the onslaught against the criminal elements in the North-East zone of the country.
4. You are please requested to disseminate this information through your medium with the photos attached for the awareness of the general public.
JOHN ENENCHE Major General Coordinator Defence Media Operations Defence Headquarters 7 September 2020.
The Nigeria Air Force says its airstrikes have killed no fewer than 20 Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in Borno State.
This was confirmed in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Coordinator Defence Media operations, Major General John Enenche.
According to him, the attack was carried out at Bukar Meram on the fringes of the Lake Chad, a settlement in the southern part of Borno State following intelligence information.
He explained that Bukar Meram, is a major ISWAP logistics hub linking other island settlements of the Lake Chad, which also houses several of their fighters and some of their key leaders.
The defence spokeman said that the attack was carried out by an enhanced force package of Nigerian Air Force fighter jets and helicopter gunships which hit designated targets in the area.
“In continuation of air strikes being conducted under subsidiary Operation HAIL STORM, the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has successfully neutralized some Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) Commanders and knocked out logistics facilities at Bukar Meram on the fringes of the Lake Chad in Borno State, while also neutralizing several terrorists at Dole, a settlement in the Southern part of Borno State.
“The air interdiction missions were executed on 17 August 2020 on the heels of credible intelligence reports indicating a resurgence of terrorists’ activities in the 2 settlements.
“The attack at Dole was carried out after Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions showed a build-up of activities in the area after the relocation of some terrorists from nearby settlements of Kokiwa and Yale.
“Overhead the area the ISR aircraft spotted no fewer than 20 terrorists in the area, which were taken out by the NAF attack aircraft,” the statement partly read.
Following the recent spate of attacks by the terrorists, the Air Force has launched serious offensive against the insurgents.
The recent of such was five days ago when the Air Force destroyed ISWAP camp in Borno State.
In a statement on August 14, Enenche said the terrorists’ camp, located at Tongule in the Lake Chad area of Northern Borno, was knocked out by the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole, adding that the airstrikes were conducted on Wednesday following credible Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports indicating terrorists’ activities in the village.
He revealed that the operation, which was in continuation of the air offensive against terrorist elements in the North East, resulted in the death of scores of the ISWAP fighters at the camp.
Boko Haram terrorists have reportedly attacked Kukawa Local Government, a town in Northern Borno State.
According to sources, a military base was targeted during the attack and an unspecified number of civilians may have been abducted.
The attack which occurred on Tuesday comes barely a week after the first set of villagers who have been displaced for many years were returned home to be resettled.
Kukawa, a border town on the fringes of Lake Chad has been a military zone, until the recent return of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The controversial Baga town where Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum was attacked is in Kukawa local government-barely 40 kilometers apart.
Zulum during that visit had personally inspected infrastructure and the security ambience before giving approval for the return of civilians.
Community leaders were said to have conducted a head count in order to present an official report with the correct number of missing persons.
Two hundred households consisting of an estimated 1,200 persons were recently returned to the local council by the state government.
Details of the incident are still sketchy, and the military is yet to give an official position on the attack.
Boko Haram has launched series of attacks in the northeast, particularly Borno State killing many and displacing thousands of people despite claims by the military that the terrorists have been decimated.
On July 22, a video surfaced online showing the execution of five persons by masked men in military camouflage, suspected to be Boko Haram fighters.
A voice was heard speaking in Hausa before the execution, saying that the five persons were working for infidels.
The slain persons are believed to be aid workers captured during a raid in Monguno Local Government of Borno State on June 13, 2020.
They include staff of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, Action Against Hunger, Rich International, International Rescue Committee and a security guard.
The execution came after the insurgents demanded the sum of 500,000 dollars to release them.
Following their gruesome murder, the United States and United Nations condemned the incidents, expressing sadness.
In a statement issued on July 23, the US Embassy in Nigeria said the five aid workers were working tirelessly to ease the sufferings of millions of Nigerians in the Northeastern part of the country.
“We are deeply saddened by the execution of five humanitarian workers by terrorists in Northeast Nigeria,” the Embassy tweeted on its handle.
Three flashpoints have been identified as the strongholds of the Boko Haram insurgents in the North East, following a week-long engagement with the service chiefs and other stakeholders in the region.
The areas are Lake Chad fringes, Sambisa Forest, and the Mandara mountains – all located in Borno State.
The engagement which took place on the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari also had the north-east governors in attendance.
“The President has assured the people of Borno State and indeed the north-eastern subregion that he will do everything possible within his reach to ensure that lives and property of people living in Borno State are secured,” Governor Babagan Zulum told reporters in Maiduguri, the state capital shortly after his arrival from Abuja on Sunday.
He added, “We have discussed, especially the issue of strengthening security in the fringes of the Lake Chad and Mandara mountains, as well as in the Sambisa Forest and I think my meeting with the Chief of Air Staff, as well as Chief of Naval Staff and also General (Tukur) Buratai is very promising.”
The governor said Buratai, who is the Chief of Army Staff, promised to look into the issue of clearing the enclaves of the insurgency in the three flashpoints identified.
He was confident that with the renewed commitment of the President and service chiefs, peace would reign again in Borno.
Zulum, who is also the Chairman of the North-East Governors’ Forum, had led his colleagues to the Presidential Villa in the nation’s capital and continued engagements with the service chiefs throughout the week.
While at the Villa, the governors identified some of the root causes of the insurgency raving the region and stressed the need for the Nigerian government to address them
They were of the opinion that the insurgents were taking advantage of endemic poverty and hunger among other challenges in the region to recruit more members into their fold.
The governors said the people need to go back to their farmlands and resettle in their original homes so that they can revive their means of livelihood.
They also recommended that police should be provided with state-of-the-art equipment and armoured personnel carriers, with a view to bridging the manpower gap in the military.
On his part, President Buhari gave strong assurances that security would be restored to Borno State, the North East, and the nation at large.
He also informed the governors that things would improve very soon as the government was acquiring modern equipment to fight insurgencies in the region.
State governors in the north-eastern part of the country have identified some of the root causes of the insurgency raving the region.
They stated this on Monday in Abuja at a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss ways to intensify the war against insurgency.
The Chairman of the North-East Governors’ Forum, Babagana Zulum of Borno State, who led the governors to the Villa, stressed the need for the Nigerian government to address the root causes of the insurgency.
According to him, the insurgents are taking advantage of endemic poverty and hunger among other challenges in the region to recruit more members into their fold.
Briefing State House correspondent at the end of the meeting, Zulum said, “One of the root causes is access to farmlands. People need to go back to their farmlands; people need to be resettled in their original homes so that they can start their means of livelihood.
“This is one of the reasons why insurgents are recruiting more (members) into their sects and creating an enabling environment for people to go about their normal activities will no doubt reduce the cases of insurgencies.”
“We also recommended that the police should be provided with state-of-the-art equipment, armoured personal carriers among others, with a view to bridging the manpower gap that we are having in the Nigerian military,” the governor added.
He also stressed the need for the Federal Government to work closely with the state and local governments with a view to providing solutions that would end the crisis in the region.
Governor Zulum, however, noted that the government was taking a bold step to ensure the best ways to tackle some of the challenges faced by people in the North East.
Other governors present included Darius Ishaku (Taraba), Umar Fintiri (Adamawa), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), and Mai Mala Buni (Yobe).
Members of the Boko Haram terrorist group and the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) have carried out a series of attacks on communities in the region over the years, leading to the death of thousands of residents and forceful ejection of millions of others from their homes.
While the military said it has recorded many feats in the onslaught against the insurgents, the state governors in the region, who were apparently disturbed by the recent activities of the non-state fighters, met with the President.
‘Nigerians Believed Us’
Earlier, at the meeting, President Buhari gave strong assurances that security would be restored to Borno State, the North East, and the nation at large.
The President’s assurance, according to a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, follows the recent adoption of new strategies and the acquisition of modern military equipment.
“Things will improve very soon. We are acquiring modern equipment; some are here, some are being cleared, and others still coming.
“We need patience with acquisition of equipment. You need to train the trainers for their usage ahead of their deployment to the field,” President Buhari was quoted as saying in the statement.
He added, “I assure you, the north-east governors, especially that of Borno, that we go to bed and wake up thinking about you, how to secure our country; that is the responsibility of every government.
“Our party campaigned in 2015 on three major objectives, among which is Security. We said the same thing in 2019 and Nigerians believed us. We are doing our best and we will continue to do even better.”
The President decried the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy which he said has made scarce resources even scarcer, coupled with its severe impact on the supply chain of military equipment and spare parts.
He, however, stated that his administration was doing its best on the question of equipment and the military was aware that equipment were coming from some countries.
President Buhari lamented that the acquisition of military wares and spares was not an easy task.
‘We Will Not Relent’
The meeting was also attended by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as well as the Chief of Defence Staff, the Service Chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police, and the heads of intelligence agencies.
Some of the attendees promised that things would get better soon and made a strong case for strengthening ties among the military, state governments, traditional institutions, and all communities and the residents of the region.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, gave an assessment of the current efforts, stressing that Boko Haram terrorists have been flushed out of all the states in the region, leaving Borno State as the last stop.
“There are no Boko Haram terrorists in neighbouring states. They have been pushed out, and now cornered in Borno State.
“We are coordinating with civil and traditional authorities, mobilising and reinforcing and all we need is patience. We will not relent,” he said.
On his part, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, briefed the meeting on the acquisition of military aircraft, stressing that the imminent arrival of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, UAVs, known as drones with more than 10 hours of flying time, would strongly reinforce the battlefront.
Briefs were also received on equipment needs of the police, as well as the changing alliances between criminal gangs and terrorist groups in the region from the intelligence community.
Professor Etannibi Alemikha has disagreed with the governors of the North-East over the deployment of more heavy artillery to the region.
Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, Alemikha said the Nigerian military needs more intelligence.
The criminologist explained that for the war against insurgency to be won in the region, security operatives need to have information beforehand on the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists.
“From the military or security point of view, what is required is actually not weapons. It is intelligence. At that point, they need to know when insurgents are planning to attack, where they are supposed to be attacking and what is the capacity or force that will be deployed there,” he said.
According to him, the war against terrorism and issues bordering on security globally are technologically driven.
While insisting that the troubled northeast region lacks the intelligence-approach in prosecuting terrorism war, the criminologist said the military personnel has been provided with the required weapons.
He explained that even if more weapons are provided for them, the intelligence-capacity is far more important.
“It is not so much the weapons that are required that is more important than the intelligence. I would have expected that they will ask indeed that there is the need for the deployment or greater capacity of intelligence-gathering through the various media.
“You could have the highest weapons; you will still be taken unawares. I think what is largely missing in the northeast situation has been intelligence.
“Why are they always caught unawares? I think that should be the response rather than the weapons they carry,” he said.
Professor Alemikha’s remarks come 24 hours after the Chairman of the North-East Governors’ Forum, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State asked the Federal Government to provide the region with more weapons to tackle terrorism decisively.
The governor who made this call during a meeting at the Borno Government House in Maiduguri on Saturday, advocated the use of heavy artillery for the Nigerian police to bridge the manpower deficit in the Armed Forces.
The United States has called on the Nigerian government to take the lead in the fight against insurgency in the country.
The Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command in Africa, Major General Dagvin Anderson, gave the advice at a digital press briefing on Wednesday.
He said the insurgents have started penetrating the north-western part of the country where they were already making some inroads, adding that they were looking to expand further south into the coastal areas.
Anderson said the U.S. would continue to support the Nigerian government with intelligence sharing on what the terrorists are doing.
He noted that this would also include supplying constant information on the operations of the insurgents in Borno State and the North-West.
The major general stated that for international efforts to yield desired results in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria, the government must take the lead.
He made the remarks while responding to questions from journalists about the insurgency in Nigeria which has claimed many lives and displaced millions of people in the North East.
The briefing was organised to discuss U.S. partnerships with African nations to reduce extremism, combat terrorist organisations, and bring about peace and prosperity throughout the African continent.
Read excerpts of Major General Anderson’s comments on the insurgency in Nigeria below:
When it comes to Nigeria in general, Nigeria, obviously, is a critical nation to West Africa. It is huge just in its economy, in its population, and just its influence in the region. It is a critical nation and we realise that Nigeria is a lynchpin.
For that to have an effect against the VEOs and to have an effect against these stressors, it really takes the Government of Nigeria to lead that effort and to build that energy to coalesce around. So no nation can come in and fix that problem for Nigeria.
We can assist with that – and it’s the United States can assist, the United Kingdom, other countries can come in, many countries can come and assist with that partnership – but ultimately it takes leadership from Nigeria in order for us to focus our efforts. We need to understand where Nigeria wants to focus those efforts so we can partner appropriately to have the best effect.
We have partnered with great effect with Nigeria in counterterrorism in the past. We have had good engagements with their air force in particular and providing C-208 capability, which is a light, fixed-wing ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] platform, very capable, and we’ve had good engagement.
We have had good engagements with their air force in integrating their air force with their ground forces in order to make their air force more effective. Nigeria is a large country, it’s got a lot of territories to cover, and so it’s critical that they have that air component and that air engagement. So, we have had positive engagements there.
Recently, the Nigerian coast guard went out and rescued some Chinese fishermen that were adrift out off their coast. That was a combination of engagement from the U.S., where the U.S. had engaged with their maritime forces and helped build their maritime awareness along their coast.
And that was in partnership with their neighbours in Togo and Benin as well, who helped with that whole operation to understand the intelligence that led them to where these fishermen were, but then it was the unit that went out and did that was a Nigerian special operations unit that our Navy SEALs had trained a few years previously.
So sometimes it’s not the immediate effect, it’s the effect that happens two or three years later as you combine these engagements that have a greater effect later on. I know that’s just one small example and it’s not directly against terrorism, but being able to engage in that maritime domain and to be able to understand what’s going on out there is critical, and that has been an engagement the United States has had over several years with Nigeria and those other coastal states in both the naval and the special operations forces.
More directly to his point, we have engaged with Nigeria and continue to engage with them in intel sharing and in understanding what these violent extremists are doing, and that has been absolutely critical to their engagements up in the Borno State and into an emerging area of northwest Nigeria that we’re seeing al-Qaida starting to make some inroads in.
So, this intelligence sharing is absolutely vital and we stay fully engaged with the Government of Nigeria to provide them an understanding of what these terrorists are doing, what Boko Haram is doing, what ISIS-West Africa is doing, and how ISIS and al-Qaida are looking to expand further south into the littoral areas.
So these are all places where we stay engaged and we stay in great partnership with Nigeria, but I share the – and I can’t remember who asked the question, unfortunately, but I share the sentiment that it is quite disturbing that despite all this assistance, the VEOs are continuing to make progress and continuing to be a threat.
I think there are two factors in that. One, it goes to that each government has to focus on this and provide that focus for international partners to engage with. The other partner – the other part of this is we can’t underestimate the threat these violent extremist organizations pose.
We, as a community of international nations, keep thinking we have defeated them, or we have put them on their back foot and that they’re just moments from disintegration. I think after 20 years we have seen they are very resilient organisations that, although small, they’re able to leverage social media and other forms of media to have an outsized voice and that they continue to recruit and they continue to find opportunities.
And so, they have evolved. What they were in the ’90s and what they preyed upon in the ’90s is different than what we saw in the 2000s in Afghanistan and then in Iraq, and now as we see them come back into Africa and engage more in Africa, we see them exploit other grievances and other divides.
So, we see them being very resilient, creative, and flexible. So I’d ask all of the partners, all of our partners, not to underestimate the threat and not to underestimate what they’re capable of doing and that they are very patient and that they are willing to look for opportunities as they emerge.
So, you can’t just say ‘we’ve defeated them,’ you have to continue to address weaknesses and places where these terrorist groups can – that they can exploit.
Six days after the convoy of Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum was attacked by suspected Boko Haram terrorists, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says the attack was not in any way, military sabotage.
A visibly-angry Zulum had after the attack, accused the Nigerian soldiers of being responsible for the raid on his convoy in Baga, a claim which the DHQ says has been investigated and found to be false.
Zulum believes some elements are trying to frustrate the effort of the government in ending the insurgency and President Muhammadu Buhari needs to know the truth.
He said, “Let me also re-echo my previous position with respect to the level of insurgency in Borno State, I earlier said that the gravity of the insurgency cannot be compared with what has happened between 2011 to 2015, and 2015 to date. Yes, it’s true. The President has done well.
“But there’s sabotage in the system that will not allow the insurgency to end; the President has to know this very important point.”
Speaking on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, the spokesman of the Defence Headquarters, John Enenche, absolved the military of any complacency.
Enenche, a Major-General said contrary to Governor Zulum’s claims, the attack was not sabotaged by the military, adding that investigations commenced based on how weighty the allegations were and findings show that the governor’s claims were false.
“We investigated it immediately and the strategic level is cleared of that, operational level cleared of that, the tactical level is cleared of that.
“We analysed the video. Even from the gunshot, the way it all played out, you will discover from the sound of the gunshot that it is not conventional weapons that we use.
“From the habit from that analysis, it was purely that of the enemy in that area – Boko Haram (BHTs). From the tactics, from the manoeuvres exhibited, it was theirs. From the search conducted, it was purely theirs,” he said.
According to the defence spokesman, the fears of the Military High Command were allayed after 48 hours.
While insisting that the attack on Governor Zulum was not sabotaged on any of the troops in the theatre of operation, Enenche said the issue will be handled by whom he described as stakeholders.
He also reiterated the commitment of the Armed Forces in ridding the nation of the myriads of security challenges.
The Borno State Police Command has paraded forty-five criminals arrested in different parts of the state for various offences.
One of those arrested is one Goni Mallum, a Boko Haram logistics supplier who confessed to running errands for the insurgents citing hunger and poverty as justification for his actions.
Mallum said the insurgents captured him on his farm but decided to spare his life if he accepts to be running errands for them for a fee, an offer he couldn’t resist.
Many farmers in Borno State have faced similar threats from insurgents with many being killed in their farms during attacks, while others are now living in the IDP camps.
Mallum described to the authorities how he operates and how security operatives apprehended him. The self-professed Boko Haram supplier said he was arrested when he went to buy drugs for the terrorists.
“They wrote me a list of all they wanted and gave it to me, I didn’t know the items on the list, I just went and showed those at the store, I didn’t know it was risky,” Mallum told journalists during an interview.
He added, “The shop owner went and reported me to the Civilian JTF and the market union then they came and arrested me. I knew it was wrong but hunger forced me to do it, I used to sell grains in Muna Garage but I lost my capital and I have been jobless.”
A spokesman for the Borno State Police Command, DSP Edet Okon, said Mallum was arrested on a tip-off and would be charged to court as having committed “Acts of Terrorism” for aiding and abetting the crime.
“The suspect confessed that he was saddled with the responsibility of supplying essentials and other logistics to the sect.” The PPRO said.
Other criminals were arrested for various crimes including armed robbery, animal rustling, fraud and extortion, criminal breach of trust, kidnapping, and theft.
DSP Edet said all suspects would have their day in court.
But Shehu said such rumours being peddled were fake.
“It is important for the public to know that nobody has ever been absorbed into the military from the de-radicalized Boko Haram and there is no such plan for their absorption,” the statement partly read.
The presidential spokesman explained that the Federal Government’s Operation Safe Corridor programme aimed at rehabilitating the ex-terrorists were being monitored by the International Organisation for Migration.
He insisted that none of the recent 601 former insurgents who have undergone the radicalisation and rehabilitation programme is admitted into the military.
“None of the 601 former Boko Haram members who voluntarily laid down their arms, and have recently graduated from the Federal Government’s de-radicalization and rehabilitation programme, is going into the military.
“This is the fourth such graduation of repentant Boko Haram fighters and not one of such graduates has been absorbed into the military.
“The public needs to be reassured that the de-radicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremists of the Buhari administration code-named “Operation Safe Corridor,” follows an established example from countries with similar experiences, and is supported academically and materially by the European Union and the United Nations,” he said.
SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:
SERIOUS LEADERS MUST NOT FALL FOR FAKE NEWS ON REPENTANT TERRORISTS – PRESIDENCY
“Now that groups with hitherto proven bona fides, some religious leaders and a few in the legislature have joined the supply chain of fake news, it important that we step in to clear the false reports that the administration is absorbing repentant Boko Haram terrorists into the military.
“It is important for the public to know that nobody has ever been absorbed into the military from the de-radicalized Boko Haram and there is no such plan for their absorption.
“None of the 601 former Boko Haram members who voluntarily laid down their arms, and have recently graduated from the Federal Government’s de-radicalization and rehabilitation programme, is going into the military. This is the fourth such graduation of repentant Boko Haram fighters and not one of such graduates has been absorbed into the military.
“The public needs to be reassured that the de-radicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremists of the Buhari administration code-named “Operation Safe Corridor,” follows an established example from countries with similar experiences, and is supported academically and materially by the European Union and the United Nations.
“The lead agency for the implementation of the programme in Gombe is the International Organization for Migration, a leading inter-government organization which is represented in Nigeria.
“It is also important to note that this programme does not have a place for hard-boiled, ideologically hardened terrorists. It only admits, after careful scrutiny, repentant fighters that were captured and forced to bear arms in the first instance, and there are many who have been drafted by force.
“At the point of their graduation, a determination is made that the former combatants have repented and are better citizens, imbued with genuine nationalism. They must no longer represent a danger to society or to themselves.
“Where they are certified as such, communities have the duty of accepting them. Unless they want them to take up arms and resume terrorism from which they have repented, community leaders must work with the relevant agencies to end their rejection.
“The Buhari administration is a responsible one and is conscious of its duty to the state and society, and to the victims of terror as well as to those who inflicted these pains and losses on our people.”
“I want Nigerians to be very conscious of their country. What we inherited when we came around in 2016 was Boko Haram in the North East and the militants in the South-South. Nigerians know that we have done our best.
“What is coming up in North West and North Central is disturbing indeed. But I believe the military and the police and other law enforcement agencies, I think they could do much better, but we are keeping them on the alert to do their duties.”
The President’s comments come days after gunmen attacked Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum on his way to Baga, a town 196 km from Maiduguri.
The security situation in Southern Kaduna has deteriorated forcing the state government to order a curfew amid rising cases of banditry and kidnapping across the country’s North-West.
President Buhari also said, on Friday, that some people trusted by his administration have abused the privilege.
He was responding to a question about the recent corruption allegations arising from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Former EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu was suspended in July after corruption charges were brought against him, and the House of Representatives publicly investigated financial misappropriation at the NDDC amid a plethora of drama.
“There has been an abuse of trust by people trusted by the previous administration and this administration,” the President said when asked about how he felt about the recent developments.
“A number of assets have been recovered and some money; but we have introduced TSA, Treasury Single Account, where all the money are taken.
“I said assets should be sold and the money put into TSA so the money can be identified at any level. And I will see who will come after us and take it back again to those who misappropriate public funds.”