By Andy Chukwu
The Defence Headquarters on Sunday dismissed reports that the Nigerian Military was recruiting some ex- Boko Haram fighters.
Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, the Acting Director of Defence Information, in a statement, described the reports as false and urged Nigerians to disregard the information published in some online platforms.
Nwachukwu said over 250 repentant insurgents who willingly abandoned their struggle and surrendered to federal troops have been de-radicalized, rehabilitated and reintegrated into the society by their respective state governments in conjunction with traditional and religious institutions.
“The Defence Headquarters has been notified of false information peddled in some online media, insinuating that de-radicalized Boko Haram ex-fighters are being absorbed into the Nigerian military,” Nwachukwu stated.
“One of such insinuations is contained in trending video footage published by Roots TV, where one Balhatu Musa Ezekiel claimed the Nigeria Army had recruited de-radicalised Boko Haram Ex-fighters into the Army and was, therefore, recycling insurgency.
“The Defence Headquarters wishes to unambiguously state that Balhatu’s claims are not only bereft of the truth but laced with mediocrity emanating from poorly researched and uninformed position.
“Contrary to his claims, no Boko Haram ex-fighter has been recruited into the Nigerian military and no such plan is in the offing.
“The de-radicalization, rehabilitation, and reintegration program is a Federal Government program conducted under the auspices of Operation Safe Corridor as a non- kinetic operation.
“Nigeria’s de-radicalization model is a very effective one, targeted at low-risk combatants and has become a classical example in the Lake Chad Basin Region and West Africa.
“So far in Nigeria, the de-radicalized ex-fighters are doing well in their respective communities, as no adverse report has been recorded against the de-radicalized repentant ex-fighters by Operation Safe Corridor’s monitoring unit.
“There has not been a report of molestation or harassment of any sort against them by members of the communities, where they are resettled. As a matter of verifiable fact, the reintegrated ex-fighters are doing well in their various endeavours and are positively impacting on their respective communities.”