Nigerian Army, NA, has reacted to a publication regarding their release of two senior Boko Haram operatives after rehabilitation, saying that facts were misrepresented by the publication.
The rebuttal was contained in a statement released today by Brig Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, the NA’s director of Public Relations.
TheFact Nigeria gathers that Operation Safe Corridor is the multi-agency humanitarian effort led by Defence Headquarters DHQ, and was launched in 2016 to encourage Boko Haram terrorists to surrender. The programme is based on De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Re-Integration (DRR) of former members of the Islamic sect that has terrorised the northeast region for over a decade.
However, many Nigerians have been strongly critical of the programme, noting that it made light of the atrocities committed by the terrorist group which has killed over 30,000 people, and displaced over 2.5 million people in the northeast and surrounding areas in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger Republic
According to the NA, the publication had presented the story, captioned, ‘ARMY TO FREE 2 SENIOR BOKO HARAM EXPERTS AFTER REHABILITATION’, in such a way as to suggest that the Army had acted on its own, thereby encouraging acts of lawlessness or extra judicial killings.
The NA, intent on putting issues in their right perspective, reiterated that as a professional military organisation, it will continue to act in accordance with the dictates of the Nigerian Constitution, as well as international best practices.
The Army recalls s a fact that in the recent past, over 1,000 members of Boko Haram and their families have surrendered to the troops due to the intense pressure from troops’ sustained offensive actions. Among these were key leaders of the terrorists group who have renounced their membership and have turned themselves in.
Such persons, according to the Constitution will be received, processed and passed on to the relevant agencies of Government for further assessment in line with extant provisions.
The emphasis was made that ongoing Operation Safe Corridor is an outfit established by the Federal Government and not the NA. As such, it is absolutely wrong to say that the NA will free repentant terrorists.
The NA therefore appealed to the public to disregard the deliberate distortion of facts by these online mediums and continue to support the NA in order to rid the country of terrorism and other forms of insecurity.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, has reiterated his admonition to all terrorists groups operating in the country to abandon their illegitimate cause and surrender to troops.