613 repentant terrorists will be transferred to their states – Chief of Defence Staff says

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, has said 613 rehabilitated low-risk repentant terrorists will be transferred to their state governments for reintegration into society.

Irabor made the disclosure during the fifth Stakeholders’ Meeting of Operation Safe Corridor (OPSC), in Abuja, yesterday. Represented by Chief of Defence Training and Operation, Maj.-Gen. Adeyemi Yekini, the CDS said the 613 persons are currently undergoing deradicalisation and rehabilitation, which are being handled by the OPSC.

He said the meeting would discuss the Deradicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DRR) Programme, ahead of the transfer of the persons to their state governments.

Irabor noted that President Muhammadu Buhari, in September 2015, established the OPSC as a window for willing and repentant terrorists to lay down their arms and undergo a structured DRR programme.

He described the scheme as a multi-agency and humanitarian operation utilising the expertise of over 17 services, ministries, departments and agencies, supported by local and international organisations and friendly nations.

The CDS said the successes of OPSC have continued to resonate within the region and in the diaspora, thereby, attracting the interest of researchers from far and wide.

“It is also important to mention that upon graduation from the programme, each client will be provided some food and personal items, as well as start-up pack, according to the trade learnt during training, to enable them set up small businesses and start a new life,” he said.

Irabor recommended that the receiving state governments should provide necessary support to enable the ex-combatants wade through the transitional and most challenging phase of their lives.

He added: “We are optimistic that working closely with local and traditional authorities, the states can deploy security apparatus at their disposal to effectively track and evaluate the re-integrated ex- combatants.

“I must emphasise that this is critical for all stakeholders involved in the reintegration processes, to mitigate or completely eliminate incidences of reoffending.”

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