Government feeds repentant terrorists
• Military, NEMA defend action
• Troops kill five
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has presented food and non-food items to the Nigerian Army for distribution to 800 ‘repented and surrendered’ Boko Haram insurgents under the Operation Safe Corridor (OSC) programme of the military.
Meanwhile, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole and members of the Civilian JTF killed five Boko Haram terrorists and recovered arms and ammunition while repelling the insurgents in Yauri community, near Maiduguri, Borno State on Monday.
Presenting the relief materials in Gombe, the Director-General of NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi said that the initiative was in line with international best practices. He said it was essentially to allow those who indulged in terrorism to voluntarily surrender and embrace peace, by undergoing rehabilitation and reintegration.
“This agency will continue to play its role in the rehabilitation programme by providing regular support of food and non-food items for their up keep,” Sidi said at the presentation of the items yesterday.
On the relief materials presented, Sidi said: “Items to be released for this purpose every three months include 410 bags of rice, 400 bags of beans, 200 bags of millet, 200 bags of sorghum, 750 cartons of spaghetti, 50 cartons of Maggi cubes and 810 cartons of tomato paste.
“Others are101 vegetable oil in 20 liter kegs, 101 palm oil in 20 liter kegs, 50 bags of salt, 100 bags of sugar, 420 cartons of milk and 420 cartons of Milo chocolate.”
The non-food items, according to the NEMA boss, include 800 pieces of mattress, 500 pieces of blanket, 500 pieces of nylon mats, 1, 000 units each of plastic buckets, spoons, cups, plates and pairs of slippers, 2,000 men’s wear, 63 cartons of bathing soap and 1, 000 bathing towels.
Sidi further explained that the total cost of relief materials, could not be ascertained, as the contractors procured the food and non-food items to the agency for distribution to victims of the Boko Haram insurgency.
He said: “I cannot give you the respective costs of the various relief materials being presented to the military for this rehabilitation and de-radicalisation of 800 surrendered insurgents in Gombe town of Gombe State. After all, other agencies, including the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), are also involved in this rehabilitation and de-radicalisation programme of the Operation Safe Corridor of the military.
“Each federal agency has a role to play, such as skills acquisition and trades for the insurgents who have surrendered, while NEMA continues to intervene and assist with food and non-food items to all victims of Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.”
Receiving the items on behalf of the military, Coordinator of OSC, Brig-Gen. B. M Shafa said that the initiative was designed to de-radicalise, rehabilitate and re-integrate into the society Boko Haram insurgents who have come out to surrender to the military.
He expressed belief that it would quicken the peace process in the terrorism-ravaged North-East sub-region.“Between September last year and February this year, a good number of Boko Haram insurgents have come out to surrender,” Shafa said.He thanked the Gombe State government for providing the de-radicalisation and rehabilitation venue with the necessary support to the military. He said about 11 Federal Government agencies are directly involved in the OSC military programme.
The Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman disclosed the killing of terrorists in Borno State yesterday in a statement issued to newsmen in Maiduguri.
“In the encounter, the troops killed five of the attackers and recovered two AK-47 rifles, a general purpose machine gun, one 60mm mortar tube, a Fabrique Nationale rifle, two dane guns, two AK-47 rifle magazines, two FN rifle magazines, 131rounds of 62mm ammunition, 31 rounds of 7,62mm (Special) ammunition, a 60mm bomb, 10 bicycles and the sum of N31, 275 from the terrorists,” he said.
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