The Nigeria Defence Headquarters said on Wednesday that in accordance with a presidential directive, it has inaugurated a national committee to oversee the creation of safe passageway into the mainstream Nigerian society for members of the Boko Haram terrorists.
Group Captain Wap Maigida of Defence Information Department who said this in a statement however added that Boko Haram members pencilled for reintegration are those forcefully conscripted into the group and those who have already surrendered and given up their membership of the sect and those willing to renounce their membership.
According to him, about 315 Boko Haram members have surrendered and are being detained and isolated camps to ensure that the terrorists submit to state control.
He noted that the successes being recorded by the military against the insurgents in the battlefield has resulted in large number of the insurgents willing to surrender their arms to embrace peace.
Members of the committee, according to Group Captain Maigida comprise relevant federal government agencies involved in the counterinsurgency operation and representatives of states in the North East and Jigawa. Governors of states of Jigawa and Adamawa were represented at the inauguration ceremony.
The Committee’s terms of reference include; to identify implementation partners and establish their responsibilities, to establish a framework for coordination of implementation agencies, to determine funding requirements and sources, to identify technical assistance needs and possible sources, to outline broad information strategies in collaboration with implementation agencies, to determine location of assembly areas, encampment sites, IDP Camps as well as safe corridors and routes, and, finally, to determine the overall security requirements and concerns in the counterinsurgency operation.
He added that the Committee which has one month for its assignment will also tackle the creation of mobile offices, access roads, feeding and medical treatment for the IDP, skill and vocational training for the IDP, joint media centres and the establishment of necessary structures and receptive centres to resettle repentant terrorist members.
The Defence spokesperson also noted that so far, military operations in the North East area have yielded remarkable successes, following the immediate review of the security forces strategy, approach and concept of operation designed to neutralize the operational capabilities of the terrorists and rout them out before the year’s end.
According to him, several strongholds, hideouts and camps of the BHT have been cleared and taken over by our military forces while many children and women captives of Boko Haram have been released and currently undergoing rehabilitation process in the various established internally displaced persons (IDP) Camps.
Group Captain Maigida added that to ameliorate the suffering of the IDP, the DHQ and the services have embarked on aggressive quick impact projects which have significantly improved their wellness.
He added that the intensity and momentum of the ongoing counterinsurgency operations against Boko Haram have not subsided as most of the terrorists have been decimated through ongoing clearance operations with their logistics supply routes blocked and lines of communications extended, as part of the final onslaught to neutralize the sect completely.