The defence headquarters says a total of 603 repentant Boko Haram members are billed to be reintegrated into their communities in July.
John Enenche, coordinator of defence media operations (DMO), who spoke in Abuja on Thursday, said the insurgents have completed the deradicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration programme.
Enenche said the programme, which is an initiative of the defence headquarters, had recorded tremendous success since inception in 2016.
He added that OPSC had admitted 893 ex-combatants for the programme, out of which 280 including, two Chadians, had been successfully reintegrated back into the society through their respective national and state authorities.
“Presently, there are 603 of them undergoing the DRR Programme and would be graduating by July 2020,” he said.
“The operation is a success story as feedbacks from those reintegrated are positive. A particular one in Bama who learnt barbing as a vocation has successfully empowered four locals and is happily married with children.”
Enenche said the concept of OPSC is that of “a unique non-kinetic operation” aimed at giving hope to ex-insurgents who willingly give up arms to embrace peace.
He said the operation is being administered by 468 staff drawn from 17 organisations including the armed forces, law enforcement and security agencies and other federal government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
Eneche described the programme as “an international best practice for conflict management” backed by relevant laws, adding that the scheme had also enjoyed widespread collaboration and support of local and international non-governmental organisations.
He urged the public to disregard the misinformation about the programme, saying it is part of efforts to end insurgency in the north-east.
In February, some soldiers had criticised the release of 14oo “repentants” Boko Haram members.
Some of them expressed displeasure over the development and questioned why the “repentant” insurgents would be released while they (soldiers) keep risking their lives “to flush them out”.
This, they described as “wasted efforts”.
“A lot of soldiers are not happy about this. We were there at the Maimalari barracks when some of these Boko Haram people were released,” one of the soldiers had said.
“The authorities are releasing them, but Boko Haram are killing soldiers that they capture. This does not make sense to us at all. We continue to sweep across the bushes to flush these people out, and then the government will release them. Does that not amount to wasted efforts?”
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