Borno state Commissioner for Information and Internal Security Professor Usman Tar interacting with Radio Nigeria Correspondent in Maiduguri.
By Dauda Iliya
The Borno state government says communities are now willing to accept repentant Boko Haram insurgents.
Commissioner for Information and Internal Security, Professor Usman Tar stated this in an interview with Radio Nigeria in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.
Borno state, the epicentre of Boko Haram insurgency has in the last eighteen months, witnessed unprecedented number of repentant insurgents who laid down their arms and embraced the path of peace.
Government adopted the use of non-kinetic approach after more than ten years of military offensive on hideouts and camps of the insurgent group particularly in Sambisa forest, Mandara mountain and the Lake Chad area.
Although, the scale of attacks and humanitarian situation in Borno state, North East Nigeria has drastically reduced, the group still carry out pocket of attacks in some parts of the state.
Professor Tar explained that a community driven approach was adopted in an effort to achieve sustainable peace by persuading Boko Haram fighters abandoned their ignoble act and embrace the path of peace.
He said the process gave birth to what is now known as Borno Model for management of mass defectors.
“The process involves initial reception of defectors at nearest military formation; their safe transfer to the main defection camp in Maiduguri; processing and categorisation; camping; deradicalization; biometric data capture; community-centered return of zero-risk repentants” Tar explained.
According to the Commissioner, about 140,000 insurgents have surrendered with their families and have undergone several stages of profiling.
“the camps have different categories of defectors comprising of farmers, captive civilians, unaccompanied minors, low risks and high risks insurgents ” Tar said.
Professor Usman Tar said government has also engaged experts to teach them modern skills such as phone repairs, in addition to other forms of trade.
“We have camps that can take care of the repentant insurgents. Government is thinking of how to engage them in productive activities because is difficult to continue to feed” The Commissioner stressed.
The Commissioner added that those released from the holding facilities are been monitored using modern technology to ensure that security of the community is not compromised.