Two members of a gang which allegedly hijacked a truck carrying 40,000 litres of petrol have been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command.
The arrested suspects have been identified as 37-year-old Charles Obilomo and 35-year-old Osita Onyeka and it was gathered that four other members of the gang which hijacked the DAF truck by intercepting the driver at a bad spot on the Mile-2 Oshodi expressway on December 28, escaped with bullet wounds.
The truck’s driver, 42-year-old Muhammadu Mande and his 34-year-old conductor Lawal Usman were reportedly kept in another car with four other members of the gang at gun point and were heading to an unknown destination before they were intercepted by a police patrol team at Itire.
Lagos State’s police spokesperson, Bala Elkana disclosed that the arrest was effected after police operatives from Itire Division led by the Divisional Police Officer, SP Barkfur Kromkyes were tipped off by a reliable source.
“The two suspects in police custody, Charles Obllomo and Osita Onyeka took possession of the truck. The driver and his conductor were sandwiched by the four men in military uniform in the Toyota Corolla. The truck was driving behind the Toyota Corolla and heading to an unknown destination before it was intercepted by the Police.
“According to the driver, he initially thought the hijackers were military men on stop and search duty until they started beating him and his conductor and threatened to kill them if they refuse to follow their orders. The two suspects were arrested in the truck and taken to the station. The four suspects in military uniforms escaped with bullet wounds after a fierce battle with the police. The truck and the Toyota Corolla were recovered and moved to the police station.
“Two pairs of vehicle plate numbers and military caps were recovered in the Corolla. The truck containing the PMS was handed over to the owner, Sani Samaila.”
A joint team of Customs and Army officers have been accused of allegedly breaking into shops at Popo Street in Yaba, Lagos to allegedly confiscate second-hand clothings popularly known as Okirika.
According to eyewitnesses, the incident occurred on Sunday December 29 while most owners of the shops are away for the Christmas holiday.
Facebook user, Onyekachi Titus who shared the story wrote;
See wot is happing in my street right now at yaba Lagos popo street custom and army come to our street were dey are selling okirika dey break all d shop and parking store and parks d hole bell of okirika and move dem away dis morning been 29-12-2019
Joint team of Customs and Army officers allegedly break into shops in Yaba to allegedly confiscate okirika
Former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife Patience on Sunday December 29, visited a soldier who was injured during the gunmen attack at his residence in Otuoke, Bayelsa state.
During the visit at the hospital where Lance Corporal Umar Muttaka was receiving treatment, the former President commended him and other security operatives over the bravery they exhibited during the attack. He stated that they stood firm and fought for the interest and security of the nation.
It was gathered that the injured soldier is responding to treatment as security has been beefed up at the residence of the former President, both in Yenagoa and Otuoke since the attack.
First Bank of Nigeria has hailed the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Army for foiling a robbery by armed men in one of its Abuja branch.
The bank, in a statement by Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, said it truly appreciated the valiant effort by the joint security agencies to stop the robbery attacks. N.Rs learnt
The statement reads, “We wish to inform everyone that the attempted robbery incident that happened at one of our branches in Abuja has been foiled; customers and staff are unhurt; and the suspects have been apprehended.
Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State has commended the Nigerian Army in tackling the activities of Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast and restoration of peace in Adamawa state.
Fintiri, who was represented by his deputy, Chief Seth Crowther, gave the commendation during the inauguration of multi-million Naira projects in Gibson Jalo Cantonment on Saturday in Yola.
He said that concerted efforts had been made to review and improve the security structure of the state in order to checkmate threats in the state.
According to him, effort is also being made to provide vehicles, motorcycles, kits as well as other administrative and logistic supports to ensure effective performance by the personnel.
“To reciprocate your effort, the Adamawa State government is making effort to assist in renovating the Command Day Secondary School and road network in Gibson Jalo Cantonment.
Fintiri also commended the Nigerian army for its efforts toward meeting the welfare needs of its personnel and their families through the establishment of entrepreneurial and skill acquisition centre.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said that the projects were part of efforts aimed at ensuring the welfare of officers and soldiers of Nigerian Army as well as their families.
Buratai said that the entrepreneurial and skill acquisition centre, transit accommodation and accident and emergency ward projects being executed at the cantonment were critical to the well being of the personnel.
He explained that the centre would develop the skills of the youths and women in the cantonment in becoming self-reliant.
“In the same vein, the transit accommodation will assist in facilitating the general administration of the large number of personnel deployed here in the north east who use the cantonment as a transit point.
“Also, the accident and emergency ward will enhance healthcare delivery for the soldiers and their families as well as the locals residing around the cantonment,’’ he said.
While congratulating the division and the brigade for the successful completion of the projects, Buratai urged them to ensure proper maintenance of the facilities.
The Army chief commended the governor and people of Adamawa for their support to the army, assuring that the army was committed to providing a safe and secure environment for development of the state.
“As I continue to address your challenges, I want you to keep faith with us and remain loyal and grateful to the federal government of Nigeria under the leadership of president Buhari.
“Let me at this juncture assure you that we will continue to renovate all the dilapidated structures in this barracks and we hope that the promise by the state government to renovate the command school will be effected soon.
“I urge you all to redouble your effort and rededicate yourselves to service as we all collectively defend the territorial integrity of our nation,’’ he added.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3 Division, Maj.-Gen. Nuhu Angbazo, said that the project would enhance the well-being of the personnel of the division.
Angbazo pledged that the personnel of the division would continue to initiate projects aimed at improving efficiency of the personnel of the division
The Commander, 23 Brigade, Yola, Brig.-Gen. Sani Muhammed, said that the skill acquisition centre was designed to empower children and wives of personnel.
Muhammed disclosed that the accident and emergency ward of the Brigade Medical centre had the capacity to handle 30 patients at a time.
He added that a block making factory had been established as part of skill acquisition programme towards engaging the youths in the cantonment.
As long as she was alive, their marriage was like the wedlock of the gods that the late Professor Zulu Sofola portrayed in her classic novel. For the 40 years the marriage lasted, they were inseparable. Wherever you saw one, there would the other be also. They shattered all obstacles together; and beautified as they impressed.
But on Sunday, December 27, 2009, time stopped forever for the personable former First Lady and founder of the Better Life for Rural Women project, Dr. Maryam Babangida. She died. On that black Sunday, the Asaba, Delta State-born ex-First Lady succumbed to ovarian cancer at the University of California’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, aged 61.
The late Maryam Babangida was born on November 1, 1948, to Hajiya Asabe Halima Mohammed, a Hausa woman from Niger State, and Mr. Leonard Nwanonye Okogwu, an Igbo from Asaba, Delta State. Sultry Maryam got married to the then Major Ibrahim Babangida on September 6, 1969, shortly before her 21st birthday. The marriage was blessed with two boys and two girls––Mohammed, Aminu, Aisha and Halima.
On the day Maryam went to meet her Maker, the world stood still for her husband, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Nigeria’s former military president. The cancer had sliced off his better half and his world momentarily became a huge dark void. Every glittering thing became gloomy. Ten years on, the General is still struggling to fill the vacuum.
In this exclusive interview, General Babangida, who was at his wife’s bed side when her life ebbed, went down memory lane and revealed that though the passage of time had reduced the pain, the tragic loss has not totally healed. He recalled some of the high and low points in his union with his late wife, disclosing, perhaps for the first time, why he stuck to the highly fashionable former First Lady till death separated them that fateful Sunday in December of 2009.
Babangida didn’t stop there. He also spoke on life without his better half, her immortality and legacies. Then, he dropped this bombshell: despite his advancing age, and regardless of his present state of health, he wants to marry again. And he didn’t say that for the sake of headlines. He meant every word of it.
Well, as they say, the taste of the pudding is in the eating. Please, sit back, relax and enjoy the interview. Excerpts:
It would be 10 years on December 27, this year, since your wife, the former First Lady, passed on. How has life been with you without Dr. Maryam Babangida?
It hasn’t been easy, I must say. But thanks be to God. Her children and my friends try to take away that burden off me and they have been very successful so far.
What have been the pains?
That you lose somebody very close to you; somebody very dedicated to the family, you, the children and so on. Another one is not having a companion to talk to when you are in a distressed situation. Those are the pains.
Those are what you miss most about her?
What is the greatest problem you face as a widower?
Somebody who would instantly correct me when I make a mistake. Somebody who would say without mincing words that: ‘this is right’ or ‘this is wrong’. This is important, especially for those of us in the limelight. That is what I miss most.
There was an interview we had with you in this same room when I asked if you were going to remarry, and you answered me in the affirmative. Years down the line, nothing has happened. I don’t know whether you really meant it or you were just joking. What is your final answer?
It will still be in the affirmative. The answer is yes. This is because I am still thinking.
Are you sure sir?
Yes, I am quite sure. I’m searching and I’m hoping. But the longer I wait, maybe, the more problematic it becomes. If it drags, I would be too old and the whole idea of having a partner would seem to diminish. But I will make sure I do it before reaching that stage.
You will make sure you do what?
Have a partner.
That presupposes that there is somebody at the corner?
So far, no.
If it is going to happen, when and how are you going to start the process if it hasn’t started by now?
If somebody is in the corner, you could organize that in three or six months. And because it must be somebody you have known for a long time, or somebody you have been in contact with for a long time, you don’t just tell them look this is for marriage. But as time passes, and relationship building continues, it could end up in marriage.
However, I have to be fair in my search. I really want to be fair. For instance, you don’t expect me to take a wife much younger than I am because that will be a problem for her and for me. I have to be fair. Secondly, I do wonder if she (the chosen one) would be able to live the way Maryam and I did, which is not easy these days. So, I keep on praying; and I think it will happen.
Do you think the children will be receptive to that idea, having waited these 10 long years?
They will be happy that their father got what he wanted. His happiness is their priority.
Especially the ladies, Aisha and Halima?
Yes. After all, this is what daddy wants and if it makes him happy, so be it. We want him to be happy.
As Africans, we believe that when we lose loved ones, we could still communicate with them in our dreams. In the past 10 years, how many times has Dr. Maryam Babangida appeared to you in your dream?
Very few times; and I think that is fine. As far as I am concerned, that takes a lot of burden off me. But if I see her every day, I wouldn’t wake up to this idea (of wanting to marry again) because seeing her regularly brings back all the memories. But since I don’t see her, it strengthens my resolve.
How would you celebrate her at 10?
I am working on a programme dedicated to her. I hope it will be ready by the tenth anniversary.
What kind of programme sir? Could you let us an insight into it?
We are trying to work on some of the things she did, especially around women and in the society, here in Niger State.
There has been very little effort towards what she was doing while she was alive. Are you not pained that nobody has taken up the Better Life for Rural Women Programme from where she signed off?
It is not easy. Her daughter is trying fairly well. She is trying to get into educating the local people in the villages so that they can make life better for themselves in terms of economic development. The daughter is doing that. She seems to be doing fine.
If despite all you have been through, you still look this way, handsome, soft-spoken and all that, one could imagine how you were at 17 or 19. How did you deal with the girls?
I knew you would come with that conclusion. But let me give you a story to answer your question. When I told my wife to let’s get married, she looked at me and said: ‘You can’t be serious’. I said: why? She said that the impression she had was that we (soldiers) were playboys. I said I had decided to stop being a playboy and I wanted to settle down. I think I convinced her that I really meant I was going to settle down.
How did your love life start, especially at a time when inter-tribal marriages were not common, especially in your part of the country? How did your parents and hers take it?
Fortunately, the two parents knew each other. They were more or less friends and I also became friends with her cousins, aunties and uncles. They didn’t have difficulties accepting me.
You really played before you eventually made your mind to settle down…
Yes, I did…
I asked that question because I interacted with a couple of your friends who told me about the way you people used to rock at Bobby Benson’s Caban Bamboo night club in those days…
He (Bobby Benson) was a good friend of mine. I knew him very well.
What was your relationship with the late Brigadier Benjamin Adekunle? He frequented the night club too…
He and I were from different divisions. I got to know him closely when the war broke out. He was in Third Marine Commando while I was in 1 Division of the Nigerian Army. But, later in retirement, I got closer to him because he visited me here in Minna. He also visited me when I was in office and when I was out of office.
Still talking about relationships, how did it eventually happen after you told your wife and she said you weren’t serious? How long did it take you to convince her?
To be honest, less than a year.
How did you deal with the other girls?
Well, they had to accept the reality that there would be a time they would have to leave me and I had to leave them.
Did you actually leave them completely?
I tried to…
How do you react to this notion that when Delta State was created by your government, you chose Asaba as the capital because your wife was from there? Critics said geographically speaking, Asaba was not at the centre of the new state. (Delta State was carved out of the former Bendel State on August 27, 1991. The state was born out of agitations by the Urhobos and Anioma for the creation of separate and distinct states from the region.)
It was not because of her. Before we created a state or local government, we studied everything-the history and the politics of that area; then, settled on one. I made a lot of consultations. I was fortunate to have people like Sir Dennis Osadebe, who, I think, was a Premier of the Mid-West. I went to him and he told me the whole history of that area. Historically, during the British era, the town was seen as an important town in terms of location, commerce and the rest of them. So, from all the consultations, we made up our minds that we will make Asaba the capital. It just happened that my wife was from there.
It was said that on the eve of your announcement, the military administrator went to Warri and was looking for a place…
(Cuts in…) It was a Nigerian thing. For instance, before the announcement (for the creation of new states), somebody in Niger (State) had also gone to another town and started saying that that will be the capital. But we knew it was going to be Minna. Then, we were accused. Like I said, it is a typical Nigerian thing.
For a man of great accomplishments like you, and as a Muslim, your religion permits you to marry as many as four wives, if you like. But you stuck to Mrs. Maryam Babangida till her death on December 27, 2009. Before the marriage eventually happened, what were the traumas you went through?
(Laughs) That is the advantage of being a playboy. It gives you an opportunity to explore and learn, such that by the time you make up your mind to settle down, you have learnt all the good and bad things in a relationship. When you now decide to settle down, you try as much as possible to avoid all those pitfalls. Maryam and I had a very short courtship because she had everything I was looking for in a woman. She possessed them.
Accepting me for what I am.
And what are you?
Just a human being. I had my faults. I made mistakes. Like every human being, I am not perfect. And if you are prepared to accept me for what I am, then, we have no problem. She exhibited that a lot and that kept us together. I can tell you that in 40 years, we quarrelled only twice. She was a very tolerant person and the parents were very understanding. They supported me on most issues.
Would it not have been otherwise if you were not General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida-very high up there, highly visible, known all over the world? Would she have been that tolerant?
I think she would still have been. During the war, for example, I was away most of the time. We were in the war front, and there was a lot of anxiety. Anxieties like: would he come back? Would he be killed at the frontline? You know that sort of thing. But she was a very strong-willed person and she was always firm in her hope that I would return to her alive, and not in a body bag. Her optimism enlivened the spirit in the home and helped the children, and so on.
Was there a time in your 40 years of marriage that she got angry and said: ‘what the heck, I’m leaving!’?
No, we never had that. That is why I said we quarrelled only twice and they were ordinary things we could sort out.
How did you handle your problems anytime confusion came?
We allowed tempers to cool down. That is rule number one. We also applied that thing called common sense. Then, we initiated a discussion, involving just the two of us, on the subject that brought about the quarrel. That way, the problem was easily resolved. Again, I never felt too proud to say ‘I am sorry, I was wrong.’ I always said that. She, too, always said: ‘I’m sorry, I was wrong’. That was the end of the problem.
Does ‘the other room’ play any role in resolving such problems?
(Laughs) We always solved our problems in the dining room.
I’m talking about the ‘other room’.
Which is the other room? Please, enlighten me.
What is the highest point of your life? At 78, what are the highs and the lows?
The first is when I was commissioned into the Nigerian Army, as a young officer from the Indian Military Academy. Fresh from the Academy, I was full of life, coming to provide service to the country. The second is: while rendering services to the country, you meet people who operate either in defence of the country or in aiding people to provide for safety of lives and properties in the country. The third is when I was given a command during the war. The high point (in that) is that here was a young Major Babangida, and I had over 500 soldiers under me. Their lives, their welfare, depended on me. That was a huge responsibility.
You have to be concerned about how you make them have the confidence that you would not lead them into any disastrous situation; you have to be concerned that they would follow you to war. I’m glad they developed that confidence because I mingled with them. I trained and ate with them. We played together. And if they knew that we were going to war, fear was no longer in them because, as an officer, I was capable of doing what they could do. As an officer, I could do what a corporal could do. So, they just followed. That is a good point in leadership; and it has been very successful.
Algerian strongman military chief Ahmed Gaid Salah, known for telling veteran leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign, has died at the age of 79.
Gen Salah, one of the last veterans of the 1954-62 independence war against France still in power, died of a heart attack. Bouteflika, who ruled since 1999, resigned in April after mass protests, leaving Gen Salah as de facto leader.
The opposition has been calling for the whole of the old regime to quit power. Gen Salah has been replaced as acting army head by Gen Said Chengriha and three days of mourning have been announced.
Late Salah played a major role in organising presidential elections on 11 December, which were boycotted by the opposition, saying they were necessary to avoid the country descending into chaos.
The election, fought between five candidates closely associated with Mr Bouteflika, was won by former civil servant Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who was dubbed as the “chosen one” on social media because he was seen as being close to the army chief.
A Nigerian soldier was caught on camera yesterday Saturday December 21st assaulting a boy at Rowe park in Yaba, Lagos state. According to eyewitnesses, the boy’s offence was that he was wearing a camoflage trouser which many military officers frown at.
The Punch newspaper deserves full credit for perspicacity with its recent resolve to address President Muhammadu Buhari with his military title of Major-General. The move, the newspaper said, was a symbolic protest against the President’s penchant for disregarding the rule of law. It also said it would henceforth describe the Buhari administration as a regime, just to underscore the military tendencies of his government.
The newspaper felt the need to register its frustrations about the President whose administration has kept in detention a former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), since December 1, 2015, following his arrest by the State Security Service (SSS) for allegedly stealing the sum of $2.1 billion meant to acquire arms, helicopters and fighter jets for the military in the campaign against the dreaded Boko Haram sect. He remains yet in detention despite being granted bail by four different High Court judges as well as the ECOWAS Court.
The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Alhaji Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife were also arrested after the December 12, 2015 bloody clash between Shi’ites and soldiers on the entourage of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State, and have also not been released in spite of various court judgments granting them bail. In the same vein, the convener of Revolution Now and presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the last presidential election, Omoyele Sowore, has remained in detention since he was arrested in August after calling for a revolution. On two occasions since then, he has been released on court orders only to be re-arrested.
Punch’s decision to address the President as Major-General Buhari and call his civilian government a regime, therefore, is a consequence of perceived government’s abuse of human rights and unwillingness to submit itself to the rule of law. If, however, the measures were meant to force Buhari to toe democratic line, the paper may not be anywhere close to achieving it, given the excitement with which many of the President’s aides and supporters have embraced his military title. Some even said they did not vote for a democrat but a general, and that they did so because of his antecedents and style of governance while he held sway as head of state between 1983 and 1985. They prefer the stern looking and taciturn Buhari of that era to the smiling one of the current dispensation.
The President’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, had indicated the warm embrace of the Major-General title in Buhari’s camp with his response to the Punch editorial, saying that there is absolutely nothing wrong with addressing the President with a title he worked very hard to earn. He said: “Nothing untoward in it. It is a rank the President attained by dint of hard work before he retired from the Nigerian Army. And today, constitutionally, he is also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. All over the world, just as in our country, a large number of retired military officers are now democrats. It does not make those who did not pass through military service better than them. Rather than being pejorative, addressing President Buhari by his military rank is another testimony to free speech and freedom of the press, which this administration (or regime, if anyone prefers: it is a matter of semantics) has pledged to uphold and preserve.”
Of course, I am not in a position to speak for Punch, but I do not believe that the newspaper actually set out to ridicule Buhari. At the very worst, it could be a strategy to spur the President into action by reminding him of the latent personal qualities he has failed to deploy in his leadership assignments; the qualities I thought were about to manifest when he announced soon after he won his reelection that he would be taking some tough decisions in his second term.
With the President’s pronouncement, my mind had raced back to the firm and decisive Buhari that held sway as the nation’s leader between December 1983 and August 1985; a short but highly eventful era of national reawakening when the War Against Indiscipline (WAI) restored a culture of orderliness in public places and suspected looters of the nation’s exchequer were haunted and hounded. Remarkably, the regime even changed the designs of the different denominations of the naira because it was suspected that a lot of public office holders had stolen from the national treasury and were reluctant to keep the looted funds in the banks for fear that it would be traced to them.
The story is told of how some Chadian soldiers, whose country had been in a prolonged civil war, invaded some Nigerian communities in 1983 while Buhari held sway as the General Officer Commanding the 3rd Division of the Nigerian Army in Jos. It was during the Second Republic when the gentleman President Shehu Shagari was the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. With a simple signal from Shagari to Buhari to flush out the intruders, an all-action Buhari launched an offensive that drove the Chadian soldiers so deep into their own territory that the Chadian President had to plead with Shagari to prevail on Buhari to withdraw his troops.
The Buhari we desire is one who confronts an invading army and causes them to flee with their tails between their legs. It is not one whose order is flouted and nothing happens when he tells the First Lady: “Go to the other room and keep quiet.”
Former Nigeria’s military president, General Ibrahim Babangida is not dead.
Rumors were rife earlier today that the ex-military leader had passed on. However, a statement released by his spokesperson, Kasim Afegbua, said contrary to the rumour, Babangida is alive and bubbling and is in his Minna residence attending to visitors.
Read the full statement below:
IBB IS ALIVE AND BUBBLING.
It has become consistent fake news for quite some time now wishing our own IBB, the one we easily refer to as “the last don” of Nigeria politics, dead. The “fake news bill” would be a suitable response to this category of fake news carrier. IBB is very much alive and bubbling. He just started attending to friends and associates who came to see him today, Sunday, 15th December, 2019 right here at his Minna Hilltop mansion. He is full of life and in his characteristic bubbling mood.
May Allah forgive those who wish IBB dead. God is the giver and taker of life, not humans. Death, as the irrevocable end of all creation, will surely come to everyone some day and at the appointed time and hour, but to deliberately spread fake news and wish someone dead, is to take humanity to another bizarre level. May Allah forgive them. IBB, by the special grace of Allah, the omniscient and omnipotent One, shall live to fulfill his journey and destiny in life, to the consternation of those who are always wishing him dead. This is about the third time this year.
We wish to thank those who took time to reach out to us, home and abroad, to find out the truth. We thank you all for your love, care and concern. May Allah grant us all good health, sound mind and long life. Amin.
PRINCE KASSIM AFEGBUA
MEDIA SPOKESMAN TO GENERAL IBB.
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has denied reports making the rounds that the Nigerian Armed Forces has commenced the recruitment of deradicalised Boko Haram ex-fighters into the military.
The DHQ said no Boko Haram ex-fighter has been recruited into the Nigerian military, and that the military does not have any such plans to do so now or in the future.
Director, Defence information, Colonel Brigadier General Onyema Nwachuku, made this known in a statement issued in Abuja.
The statement reads:
“The Defence Headquarters has been notified of false information peddled in some online media, insinuating that deradicalized Boko Haram ex-fighters are being absorbed into the Nigerian military.
“One of such insinuations is contained in a trending video footage where one Balhatu Musa Ezekiel claimed the Nigeria Army had recruited de-redicalized Boko Haram Ex-fighters into the Army and was therefore recycling insurgency.
“The Defence Headquarters wishes to unambiguously state that Balhatu’s claims are not only bereft of truth, but laced with mediocrity emanating from poorly researched and uninformed position.
“Contrary to his claims, no Boko Haram ex-fighter has been recruited into the Nigerian military and no such plan is in the offing.
“The de-radicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration program is a Federal Government program conducted under the auspices of Operation Safe Corridor as a non-kinetic operation.
“Nigeria’s De-radicalization model is a very effective one, targeted at low risk combatants and has become a classical example in the Lake Chad Basin Region and West Africa.
“Over 250 repentant insurgents who willingly abandoned their struggle and surrendered to federal troops have been de-radicalized, rehabilitated and re-integrated into the society by their respective state governments in conjunction with traditional and religious institutions.
“Nigeria’s De-radicalization model is therefore not new in the global community, as such model exists in Algeria, Colombia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, where persons involved in violent extremism have been de-radicalized and rehabilitated . This process is therefore an internationally acceptable practice now.
“So far in Nigeria, the de-radicalized ex-fighters are doing well in their respective communities, as no adverse report has been recorded against the de-radicalized repentant ex fighters by Operation Safe Corridor’s monitoring unit. There has not been report of molestation or harassment of any sort against them by members of the communities, where they are resettled. As a matter of verifiable fact, the reintegrated ex- fighters are doing well in their various endeavours and are positively impacting on their respective communities.
“It is also expedient to state, that the Federal Government of Nigeria has continued to prosecute BHT/ISWAP suspects in courts of competent jurisdiction and over 500 terrorists have so far been convicted. Meanwhile, the next round of prosecution of another batch of terrorism suspects is due to commence shortly.
“Members of the public are therefore enjoined to please discountenance the misinformation and misguided views peddled by Balhatu Musa Ezekiel, as it constitutes outright aberration of extant recruitment procedures and practice of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
“The Defence Headquarters reiterates its commitment to ensuring a well motivated, trained and equipped Armed Forces that is professionally responsive to national security commitments.”