Defence chief Irabor boasts, says 51,828 Boko Haram terrorists surrender to Nigerian government in 18 months

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor has boasted saying no fewer than 51,828 Boko Haram terrorists and their family members have surrendered to the Federal Government of Nigeria between July 2021 and May 2022.

Irabor disclosed this while delivering a lecture titled “National Defence Policy and Transitional Justice Approach in the War Against Insurgency in Nigeria” at the 7th Founders’ Day of the Edo State University, Uzairue, in Etsako West local government area on Saturday, March 25, 2023.

The CDS also said that 1,543 repentant Boko Haram terrorists graduated from the Mallam Sidi camp in Gombe between 2016 and 2022.

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He said Operation Safe Corridor as a transitional justice approach was created similar to the Niger Delta Amnesty programme launched by the Federal Government in 2009 which involved the setting up of special facilities where repentant terrorists who surrendered their arms can be rehabilitated.

Irabor said that “between July 2021 to May 2022 alone, no fewer than 51,828 Boko haram and their family members have surrendered, out of which 13,360 are fighters.


“The programme (Operation Safe Corridor) offers numerous opportunities and participants are scheduled for vocational training to ease their reintegration into society”, he emphasized.

Gen. Irabor, however, said despite the modest successes recorded by operation safe corridor in the fight against crime, the programme still faces a lot of challenges.

He listed some of challenges including the lack of specialised training experts and inadequate physical structure, inadequate collaboration and coordination, absence of appropriate legislation on reintegration, low agency and international participation as well as ineffective monitoring system.

As a way forward, the CDS suggested a “train-the-trainers programme and establishment of special fund for Deradicalisation, Reintegration and Reorientation (DRR), the establishment of a national commission for DRR, enacting of a DRR Act, building of strategic partnerships and adoption of a whole-of-society approach to monitoring.”

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