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Irabor denies recruitment of repentant terrorists into armed forces, para-military services

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The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor has dismissed as false insinuations in some quarters that some repentant members of Boko Haram may have found their way into the military and para-military services.

Irabor said no insurgent was ever recruited into the armed forces or other services.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of Operation Safe Corridor/ stakeholders meeting to work out modalities for transfering 559 ‘rehabilitated clients’ to their state governments, the CDS said: “There have been concerns that Operation Safe Corridor graduates are being recruited by the military and Para-military agencies.
“I wish to clearly dispute this assertion and reassure Nigerians that none of the over 1,000 rehabilitated Nigerians from OPSC DRR have been recruited and will never be recruited into the Nigerian Military or sister security services due to stringent safeguards in place to prevent such recruitment.’’

Gen Irabor, who was represented by Major Gen Mutiu Adeyemi Yekini, the Chief of Defence Training and Operations, said further:  “The programme has so far graduated over 1,000 clients, including 16 foreign nationals, who have been successfully reintegrated by their national and state governments.
“A total of 559 new clients are currently going through the DRR Program at the DRR Camp in Gombe State.’’

Emphasizing that Operation Safe Corridor, OPSC, was not a purely military operation, as some had suggested, the CDS said:  “The OPSC is a peace building effort and its essential duties are carried out by relevant MDAs with the necessary expertise.
“The military and other security and law enforcement agencies are involved to the extent of creating an enabling environment and leadership for the DRR Programme to function efficiently.

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“This is yet another session, and my conviction is that all issues related to the effective transfer and eventual reintegration of the 559 clients currently undergoing de-radicalization/rehabilitation will be addressed.

“You are all aware that the Armed Forces of Nigeria has been involved in this counter-insurgency operation for over a decade and our approaches, practices, procedures, strategies, and tactics have also continued to evolve to effectively tackle the amorphous nature of the threat.
“The initial response was a single service operation that was limited to only the formations and units based in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states.
“However, as time passed, several task forces were formed, eventually leading to the formation of a Theatre Command with several components, including a Naval Task Force and an Aviation Task Force, to weaken the insurgents.
“In furtherance of this objective, we are committed to forging stronger synergy between the services and other security agencies.
“All of these efforts have re-energized the fight against the insurgents, and the armed forces has continuously made progress towards ending the war in favour of the FGN.
“Before 2015, BHT/ISWAP had presence and control of 27 LGAS in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
“The group also had the capacity to carry out operations far into Kaduna, Kano, Kogi, and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
“This is not the case today as their activities have been extensively contained and mostly restrained to a small section of the Sambisa forest and a few isolated islands on the Lake Chad.
“Nevertheless, the insurgents have continued to carry out strikes on isolated civilian targets to abduct and execute innocent citizens perceived to be against their cause.
“They have also recently resorted to attacking commuters along major highways in the Northeast and the destruction of strategic installations like power lines and communication mast.”
“However, the Sect has suffered significant casualties in its leadership enany structure with far reaching consequences on command, control A and cohesion.
“This is compounded by the relentless air interdictions which has created a sense of uncertainty within the ranks of the BHT/ISWAP thereby compelling the surrendering that have been recorded in the past few months. mass
“Counterinsurgency operations entail a complex mix of activities and approaches to whither down the adversary.
“So as the AFN continue to sustain the pressure on the insurgents through the application of force, other non-kinetic measures are also required to engender the achievement of the desired results.

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