Minister says Buhari government trying to make 'repentant' Boko Haram terrorists more 'civil'
Magashi says the rehabilitation programme offers a channel for repentant terrorists to fit back into the society.
Operation Safe Corridor, the multi-agency humanitarian effort, led by Defence Headquarters (DHQ), was launched in 2016 to encourage Boko Haram terrorists to surrender.
The programme is based on De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Re-Integration (DRR) of former members of the Islamic sect that has terrorised the northeast region for over a decade.
Magashi said during a media briefing on Thursday, April 22, 2021 that the programme offers a channel for repentant terrorists to fit back into the society.
He said, "The government is fully in charge. We're not protecting them, we're trying to make them more civil and fit into the society.
"If that is a problem in this country, we have to review the situation."
At least 881 repentant former terrorists have been released since the Operation Safe Corridor was launched five years ago.
Many Nigerians have been strongly critical of the programme, noting that it made light of the atrocities committed by the terrorist group which has killed over 30,000 people, and displaced over 2.5 million people in the northeast and surrounding areas in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger Republic.
President Muhammadu Buhari has claimed for years, since he was first elected in 2015, that Boko Haram has been 'technically defeated' and posed no significant operational threat to the country.
However, the sect was ranked as the second deadliest terrorist group globally in 2019 ahead of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and Al-Shabaab, and only behind the Taliban.
Nigeria remained the third most-affected by terrorism across the world, according to the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) published last December.
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