Gen Olonisakin, CDS
The Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin has reiterated the commitment of the Nigerian Army towards ending insurgency and other forms of security challenges in the country.
The CDS gave the assurance while declaring open, Operation SAFE CORRIDOR (OPSC) in Abuja.
The CDS, who was represented by Chief of Defence Policy and Plans, Air Vice Marshal Nurudeen Balogun, said that the army will not rest on its oars in onslaught against the insurgents, adding that over 1000 high profile Boko Haram and Islamic State of West African Province terrorists have been captured by Nigerian troops, while over 500 have been convicted by courts of competent jurisdiction, according to a statement by Brigadier Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, Acting Director Defence Information.
The CDS said, “over 2000 low profile BHT/ISWAP members have laid down their arms and about 1000 has successfully undergone the OPSC’s DRR program, while over 250 BHT/ISWAP ex-fighters, including 2 foreign nationals have been successfully reintegrated to their national and state governments.’’
He added that 692 ex-fighters are presently undergoing the DRR training in Gombe and Maiduguri states.
He debunked rumours that de-radicalized insurgents are being recruited into the military and paramilitary organizations, General Olonisakin and urged to cooperate with security agencies in the fight against BHT/ISWAP by providing useful information which could enhance the ongoing onslaught against the terrorists.
The Coordinator of OPSC, Maj Gen Bamidele Shafa, earlier in his remarks, noted that the DRR programme has become a global model as other countries are currently understudying the humanitarian response towards solving regional and global terrorism.
Representatives of the Governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Plateau, Yobe, and Zamfara as well as representative of the National Security Adviser and the three Service Chiefs attended the occasion.
Others are Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Defence Intelligence Agency, Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Service, and the National Intelligence Agency, Nigerian Correctional Service, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.
Also in attendance were the Nigerian Immigration Service, National Orientation Agency, National Emergency Management Agency, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, National Directorate of Employment, North East Development Commission and National Identity Management Commission.
OPSC Local and international Implementation Partners who were also in attendance include: the Switzerland Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Eric Mayoraz, United Nations International Children’s Education Fund, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) and North East Regional Initiative (NERI) and OPSC Advisory Committee.