The presidency has declined reports suggesting that repentant Boko Haram terrorists are being recruited into the Nigerian military.
A statement issued on Wednesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, says no ex-terrorist is absorbed into the military.
The rebuttal is not unconnected with the recent allegation by the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum that his convoy was attacked by soldiers, not Boko Haram terrorists. And as a result, many Nigerians have suggested on social media that the attack was carried out by the repentant insurgents who had allegedly joined the army.
Garba Shehu who described the information making the rounds as fake, 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.”
The presidential spokesman explained that the Federal Government’s Operation Safe Corridor programme aimed at rehabilitating the ex-terrorists was being monitored by the International Organisation for Migration.
He emphasized that none of the recent 601 former insurgents who have undergone de-radicalization and rehabilitation programme is admitted into the military. Said he, “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 have 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.
And coming doubling down on information he describes as untrue, he quipped “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 is 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