Nigeria’s emergency management agency, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 presented food and non-food items to 800 repentant Boko Haram terrorists.
The items were handed to the military for “Operation Safe Corridor Programme” meant to “de-radicalise, rehabilitate and reintegrate the insurgents”.
According to the agency, the gesture was to fast track peace process in the North East.
The director general of NEMA, Mr. Sani Sidi, who presented the items in Gombe State, said the agency would continue to play its role in the programme by providing regular support of food and non-food items for the upkeep of the ex-terrorists.
Sidi, in a statement issued by a spokesperson of NEMA, Sani Datti, in Abuja on Tuesday, 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 can undergo rehabilitation.”
He stated that 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 vegetable oil in 20 litre kegs, 101 palm oil in 20 litre kegs, 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 plastic plates, 1000 plastic pairs of slippers, 2000 men’s wear, 63 cartons of bath soap and 1000 bath towels.
Receiving the items, the Coordinator of Operation Safe Corridor, Brigadier-General, Bamidele Shafa, said the initiative was designed to de-radicalise, rehabilitate and re-integrate willing and repented Boko Haram insurgents who had come out to surrender to the military and believing that it would quicken the peace process in the North East.
“Between September last year and February this year a good number of Boko haram insurgents have come out to surrender,” he added.
Shafa thanked the Gombe State government for providing the location and giving them all the necessary support.
It is reported that about 11 agencies of the Federal Government are directly involved in the Operation Safe Corridor programme