By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, says the establishment of ‘Operation Safe Corridor’ in Gombe State has been described as a global model in combating insurgency in the world.
The Acting Director of Defence Information, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja said that Olonisakin disclosed this when he received Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State in Abuja.
Olonisakin said the initiative was a non-kinetic multi national and multi agency humanitarian operation being conducted in accordance with extant international human rights and humanitarian laws.
He added that it was a rare window to encourage willing and repentant Boko Haram terrorists in the North East to surrender and shun acts of violence.
The defence chief explained that the essence of the “SAFE CORRIDOR” was to demobilise, deradicalise, rehabilitate and reintegrate repentant insurgents into society.
“I must say that this model has been replicated by many countries of the world and series of organisations and groups have come here to study that particular model, to know how we achieved it.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria is committed to performing its constitutional role of providing peaceful and enabling environment in the country.
“It will continue to develop strategies to address challenges arising from its operations in the North East in order to wipe out the insurgents from our country,” he said.
Olonisakin commended the governor and people of Gombe state for providing the facility that housed the operations.
He further disclosed that the military, as a matter of deliberate policy, had carried out other initiatives such as provision of social services to host communities in operational theatre.
According to him, the Armed Forces is not only trying to win the war but to also win the peace.
He assured that the challenges associated with the operation facility and the NYSC Orientation Camp in the State would be addressed to ensure the sustenance of the programme.
Earlier, Yahaya commended the efforts of the armed forces in tackling security challenges through robust engagements and initiatives that had yielded positive results in combating insurgency and terrorism.
He added that he was at the Defence Headquarters to rob minds with the CDS on how to improve the security challenges in the state.
The governor expressed appreciation for the Operations Safe Corridor initiative and the provision of social services to the host communities.
He said that the proximity of Gombe to the theatre of Operations LAFIYA DOLE in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States had resulted to influx of internally displaced persons into the State.
Yahaya added that these displaced persons now reside permanently in the state, thereby resulting to infrastructure deficit.