Some 602 repentant Boko Haram terrorists on Monday denounced membership of the group and swore oath of allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
They took the oath before an 11-man quasi-judicial panel headed by Justice Nehizena Afolabi of the Federal High Court, Gombe.
The denunciation followed months of participation in Operation Safe Corridor, a multi-agency humanitarian effort led by Defence Headquarters, that was launched in 2016 to encourage Boko Haram terrorists to surrender.
The programme is based on De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Re-Integration of former members of the insurgent group that has terrorised the North-East region for over 10 years.
Speaking during the exercise, Maj.-Gen. Bamidele Shafa, Coordinator, Operation Safe Corridor, said the appearance of the repentant insurgents before the judicial panel was a major requirement before their reintegration into the society.
He said, “The panel is for the clients to appear before it to confess their pasts and denounce their membership of Boko Haram, Islamic State’s West Africa Province as the case maybe.
“And swear oath of allegiance to be loyal, discipline and obedient citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and then make commitment.
“The commitment is that at the end of the programme, where they commit any offence, they stand to forfeit all privileges that they have acquired today and will be liable of offence against the state.”
Shafa revealed that since the operationalisation of the DRR programme in 2016, it had admitted 893 clients into camp while 280 including two Chadians had been transferred to their various national and state authorities.
The Borno State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zuwaira Gambo, said there was already a structure on the ground in the state to continue from where the DRR programme stopped.
SaharaReporters, New York