Nigeria: Boko Haram Has Been Caged, Says Chief of Air Staff

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar has declared that Boko Haram insurgency in the North West and North East zones has been degraded substantially, compared to the era when insurgency and terrorism was all over the country.

He made the assertion yesterday at the second "Distinguished Personality Lecture" of the Institute of Peace and Strategic Studies (IPSS) of the University of Ibadan (UI) with the theme: "Roles of the Nigerian Air Force in Internal Security Operations in Nigeria."

Abubakar emphasised that insurgency had been caged and would certainly be defeated.

The Air Force boss maintained that Boko-Haram had been caged and cannot come out as a force except in some parts of the country, adding that security agencies were fighting them on daily basis to end terrorism in Nigeria.

"The security situation in Nigeria has changed, because insurgency and terrorism have been degraded compare to before where there were bomb explosions everywhere," he said.

Abubakar hinted that the Nigerian Air Force is participating effectively in the duty operations both in the North East and North Central zones, adding that his men are providing close air supports to the ground forces through the provision of logistics such as supply of armour, jackboot and medicine to treat the wounded soldiers.

He, however, urged Nigerians to play their roles by giving relevant information to security agencies so that "we can have a secure environment."

In his remark, UI's vice chancellor, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, who was represented by the deputy vice chancellor (Administration), Prof. Kayode Adebowale, said that the Institute for Peace and Strategic Study was established to harmonised the existing peace and security in the country, and to bridge the gap between the government and the people both at the local level and internationally.

The VC acknowledged that the Nigerian Air Force has a very strong research and security network and charged the Service to use it to build more security systems in the country.

He commended NAF efforts at curbing insurgency and other security challenges in Nigeria.

Earlier, the institute's director, Prof. Tajudeen Akanji, said that it was set up by the university as one of the strategies to contributing to the society's needs in building a peaceful and peaceable environment for growth and development.

Akanji explained that the institute is a multidisciplinary academic institution established to drive strategic initiatives geared towards addressing contemporary security challenges in Nigeria, adding that as a substantive academic unit, IPSS has since risen to its statutory responsibilities in postgraduate teaching, research and community service, and thus enhancing the international agenda of the university.

He said: "The choice of Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar for today's lecture is deliberate, because of the changing nature of internal security operations in the security sector, particularly in Nigeria has revealed the increased strategic importance of the Nigerian Air Force in the prosecution of the various operations.

"We have witnessed the contributions of the leadership style of the CAS in the success attained so far in the Boko Haram operations, credence to this was reported in 2018 global terrorism reports, new emerging threats are calling for more actions from the security agencies, especially the air force," he said.

Army Hands 151 Repentant Boko Haram Insurgents Over To Borno Govt

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has handed 151 repentant Boko Haram insurgents over to the Borno State government for rehabilitation and reintegration into the society.

The coordinator, "Operation Safe Corridor", Maj-Gen. Bamidele Shafa, disclosed this during the handing over of the repentant insurgents at the Bulunkutu Rehabilitation Centre in Maiduguri yesterday.

Shafa said that the 151 male repentant insurgents comprised 132 adults and 19 minors, who completed 52 weeks of de-radicalisation process at its centre in Gombe.

He said that they were exposed to formal literacy classes, skills acquisition and Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK) as well as drug and psycho-therapists during their training.

The army officer explained that the "Operation Safe Corridor" was designed to encourage Boko Haram insurgents to surrender, provide de-radicalisation and rehabilitation programmes to enable them rejoin the society.

"The clients confessed their past misdeeds; denounced membership of Boko Haram group, asked for forgiveness and took oath of allegiance to Nigeria. I believe they are now good citizens to rejoin the society," he said.

Shafa lauded the state government over its support for the repentant insurgents to reintegrate into the society.

The state deputy governor, Alhaji Umar Kadafur, commended the federal government over the implementation of "Operation Safe Corridor" to rehabilitate the repentant insurgents.

Kadafur said that the state government had adopted effective measures to accept the insurgents willing to voluntarily surrender and to create an enabling environment for them to rejoin the society.

He said that the state government had directed community leaders to sensitise their people on the need to accept the rehabilitated insurgents and warned against infringement on their rights.

The deputy governor added that the state government would support the rehabilitated insurgents to set up their business to enable them to engage in productive activities and contribute to the development of the country.

Two of the repentant insurgents, Tela Dandija and Kyari Buguma, thanked the federal government for the amnesty granted to them and called on the insurgents still in the bush to surrender.

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