The federal government has commenced the feeding of “repentant” Boko Haram members as part of their rehabilitation.
According to a statement on Tuesday by Sani Datti, spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the agency presented food and non-food items to 800 surrendered insurgents.
“The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has presented food and non-food items to the military for Operation Safe Corridor Programme meant to de-radicalise, rehabilitate and re-integrate 800 repented and surrendered Boko Haram insurgents to fast-track peace process in the northeast,” he said.
Presenting the items in Gombe, the director-general of NEMA, Muhammad Sani Sidi, said: “The initiative, which is in line with international best practices, allowed those engaged in the fighting to voluntarily surrender and embrace peace so that they undergo rehabilitation.”
He said that NEMA would play its role in the programme by providing regular support of food and non-food items for their upkeep.
According to the agency, the 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 tomato paste. Others are 101 20-litre kegs of vegetable oil, 101 2-litre kegs of palm oil, 50 bags of salt, 100 bags of sugar, 420 cartons of milk and 420 cartons of milo chocolate”.
“The non-food items include 800 pieces of mattress, 500 hundred pieces of blanket, 500 pieces of nylon mats, 1000 plastic buckets, 1000 plastic spoons, 1000 plastic cups 1000, plastics plates, 1000 plastic pairs of slippers, 2000 men’s wear, 63 cartons of bath soap and 1000 bath towels.”
Receiving the items, coordinator of Operation Safe Corridor, BM Shafa, said the initiative was designed to de-radicalise, rehabilitate and re-integrate willing and repented Boko Haram insurgents who have come out to surrender to the military and believing that it would quicken the peace process in the northeast.
“Between September last year and February this year a good number of Boko haram members have come out to surrender,” he said.