THE Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Godwin Irabor has disclosed that over 83,000 insurgents have surrendered to the Nigerian Army through the Operation Safe Corridor program.
Irabor explained that through consistent and effective air interdictions along with well coordinated clearance operations on identified strongholds of the insurgents, troops have continued to inflict heavy casualties on the terrorists and their leaders.
The army chief made the disclosure during the fifth Stakeholders’ Meeting of Operation Safe Corridor (OPSC), on Thursday in Abuja.
He was represented at the meeting by the Chief of Defence Training and Operation, Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini.
The OPSC was established by President Muhuammadu Buhari in September 2015, as a window for willing and repentant terrorists to lay down their arms and undergo a structured Deradicalization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DRR) programme.
Irabor said, the Nigerian Army had significantly degraded the insurgents and restricted them to a small portion of Sambisa Forest and isolated Islands on the Lake Chad.
“These sustained operations continue to put pressure and confusion within the ranks of the adversary causing many to surrender to the armed forces.
“As at today, over 83,000 insurgents and their family members have surrendered, while those captured have been tried and convicted to various jail terms by the law courts,” he said.
The CDS disclosed that the military has been adopting kinetic and non-kinetic methods to win the war against insurgency.
He also disclosed that low risk repentant terrorists will be transferred to their various state governments for reintegration into the society.
Irabor advised that the receiving state governments should provide necessary support to enable the repentant terrorists wade through the transitional and most challenging phase of their lives.
“We are optimistic that working closely with local and traditional authorities, the states can deploy security apparatus at their disposal to effectively track and evaluate the reintegrated ex combatants,” he added.
Borno State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Zuwaira Gambo, said the state had received the largest chunk of the repentant terrorists since the programme started.