No fewer than 25 former Boko Haram members, their wives, and children have been flown from Niger Republic to Maiduguri after surrendering to the Nigerien government.
The former terrorists arrived at Maiduguri airport in a military aircraft secured with soldiers led by Maj.-Gen. Bamidele Shafa, who is the coordinator of the Federal Government Safe Corridor programme.
Shata said the ex-Boko Haram members laid down arms and surrendered to the Nigerien government, who contacted the Nigerian government to take them home.
“So we have brought them home safely and handed them to the Borno State government for onward rehabilitation as part of the Operation Safe Corridor de-radicalization programme,” he said.
“We are using this opportunity to encourage those that are still in the bush come out because the president of the Federal Republic has given them an open arm to drop their weapons and embrace peace.”
The Borno State Commissioner of Women Affairs received the returnees, saying the state government “will provide them with psychosocial support, feed them, clothe them, and give some form of education and skills acquisition.”
According to her, a centre has been equipped by the Borno governor, Babagana Zulum, with skills acquisition tools that will enable them to gain skills, after which they wil be integrated to society.
The programme has come under criticism recently following speculations that the so-called repentant terrorists hardly repent.