The presidency on Wednesday, August 5, denied reports that some repentant Boko Haram fighters have been allowed to join the Nigerian military.
This was in the wake of rumours which circulated on social media with many Nigerians questioning the government’s deradicalisation programme.
However, a presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, in a statement, stated that the rumours were untrue.
“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,” he said.
Shehu defended the government’s deradicalisation programme for former Boko Haram fighters who have laid down their arms.
He also explained that the programme is backed by the United Nations, the European Union and the International Organisation of Migration.
The deradicalisation programme ”does not have a place for hard-boiled; ideologically hardened terrorists,” Shehu said.
“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.
“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.”