NIGERIA: Army graduates 95 former Boko Haram members in Gombe

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The Nigerian Army has graduated 95 former Boko Haram members after a rehabilitation programme, tagged Operation Safe Corridor, at a camp in Gombe.

Brigadier Bamidele Shafa, the coordinator of the programme, said the former Boko Haram terrorists would be taken back into the society after completely undergoing a 16-week training by some government agencies, Daily trust reports.

Shafa remarked that the 95 graduates went through training in many vocational skills like cosmetology, barbing and shoe making.

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He stated that the clients would be further re-trained by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to improve on the different trades they learnt in their respective states of origin.

Colonel Moses Adetuyi, the camp commandant, informed newsmen that the programme was initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 for repented Boko Haram members who surrendered to the force.

Adetuyi said from the beginning of the camp in April 2016, about 750 repentant members of terrorist group were rehabilitated. He said 20 out of the 95 clients that graduated were below 18 years of age.

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General Gabriel Olanishakin, the chief of defense staff, represented by chief of civil-military cooperation, Rear Admiral Jonathan Ango, said take-off grant and working tools would be given to the graduates to further empower them.

Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe urged members of the public to embrace them and patronize the various trades they have been trained in.

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Meanwhile, it was reported that a former Boko Haram commander identified as Joseph David, had confessed marrying two of the 278 school girls abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state.

The former 225-year-old Christian said the girls were part of the benefits that accrued to his office as a Boko Haram commander.

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