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Ex-Boko Haram Members Storm Maiduguri, Protest Hunger and Poor Welfare

About 6,900 members of Boko Haram had surrendered to the Nigerian authorities and renounced their membership of the terrorist organisation.

Some former members of the Boko Haram group protested in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, at the weekend, alleging neglect by the government.
This came as four commanders of the terrorist group,13 other fighters, and their 45 family members surrendered to troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
About 6,900 members of Boko Haram had surrendered to the Nigerian authorities and renounced their membership of the terrorist organisation.
The former terrorists, who are undergoing a deradicalisation and rehabilitation programme at the Hajj Camp in Maiduguri, broke out of the facility and protested on the streets asking the government to pay them the N30,000 allowance it had promised.

The protest caused tension and gridlock along the Bulumkutu – Maiduguri Highway before the security operatives arrived to douse the tension.
The former Islamists reportedly said they were forced to protest to register their disappointment to the world and the authorities because they had been neglected, left without adequate food and other welfare amenities.
They said the authorities concerned had promised to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into the society to enable them to live a lawful life as responsible Nigerians.
Reacting to the development, the state’s Commissioner of Information and Internal Security, Usman Tar, said ‘biometrics registration’ for repentant insurgents had resumed after the incident.

“As normalcy restored, officials of Borno State Government have on Friday resumed the biometrics data capture of repentant Boko Haram insurgents.
“A total of 6,900 repentant insurgents are processed under the multi-agency framework of Disarmament, Demobilisation, Deradicalisation, Rehabilitation, Reconciliation, and Reintegration (DDDRRR) otherwise known as the “Borno Model,” Mr Tar added.
He explained that the data processing process was scheduled to be conducted in six batches by a certified team of intelligence and ICT experts with the utmost level of professionalism and confidentiality in data management.
“Due to a bridge in communication, those who were supposed to appear for the data capture at a later date appeared on Friday, August 18, 2023, and this led to confusion at a camp where the exercise was being conducted.

“The Borno State government wishes to assure the public that the situation is under control and normalcy has been restored at the venue of the biometric exercise.
“The incident illustrated the sensitive task which authorities face in re-inserting former fighters back into communities that have often suffered from years of attacks and kidnappings during a 13-year Islamist insurgency,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, four commanders of the terrorist group, 13 other fighters, and their 45 family members have surrendered to troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
A statement by the Force Spokesperson MNJTF, Lt Col. Abubakar Abdullahi, said the feat follows escalating kinetic and non-kinetic operations by the Joint Task Force, coupled with a dwindling logistic supply in Boko Haram hideouts.

He said between 14 to 15 August 2023, “four key Boko Haram commanders, 13 main fighters, and a total of 45 family members, laid down their arms and surrendered to troops of Sector 3 MNJTF in Cross Kauwa and Baga of Kukawa Local Government, Nigeria.”
The terrorists surrendered; seven AK-47 rifles, one FN Rifle (SLR), nearly 440 rounds of assorted calibre ammunition, and other essential tools of insurgency.
In a breakdown, he stated that two commanders, nine main fighters, and 21 family members surrendered on 14 August 2023 to troops of 19 Brigade in Cross Kauwa and 403 Amphibious Brigade in Baga.
The terrorists voluntarily surrendered six AK 47 rifles, one FN Rifle (SLR), 20 magazines (with two fully loaded), 12 rounds of 5.6-millimeter ammunition, two hand grenades, three Bandoliers, and 180 rounds of 7.62-millimeter ammunition amongst numerous items.
Again, on 15 August 2023, two other commanders, four fighters, and 24 family members surrendered.

He said the terrorists who surrendered at the 403 Amphibious Brigade location in Baga, submitted two AK-47 rifles, seven magazines, 99 rounds of 7.62-millimeter ammunition, two transistor radios, a cash sum of N213,800 and a variety of personal items.
“In response to this major breakthrough, the MNJTF has re-echoed an urgent call to all remaining Boko Haram insurgents, urging them to embrace peace and surrender as operations intensify,” he said.
He reiterated that MNJTF remains committed to fortifying the stability of the Lake Chad Basin region.

“Violence is not a viable course. Surrender provides the safest route towards peace and rehabilitation,” he advised.

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

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