The establishment of Operation Safe Corridor in Gombe State by President Muhammadu Buhari has been lauded by the Chief of Defence Staff(CDS) General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, describing it “as a global model that has become novel in combating insurgency in the world”. The CDS made the assertion Thursday when he played host to the Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, who paid him a courtesy visit at the Defence Headquarters(DHQ) Abuja.
According to a press release by Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu , acting director , Defence Information, General Olonisakin said the initiative, which is a non- kinetic multi-national and multi-agency humanitarian operation is being conducted in accordance with extant international human rights and humanitarian laws, as a rare window to encourage willing and repentant Boko Haram terrorists in the North East to surrender and shun acts of violence.
He reiterated that the essence of the Safe Corridor is “to demobilize, deradicalize, rehabilitate and to reintegrate repentant insurgents into society,” pointing out that, the novel initiative has attracted global commendations. “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 CDS said.
Speaking further, the CDS noted that the AFN was committed to performing its constitutional role of providing peaceful and enabling environment in the country. He assured that the “AFN would 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.”
General Olonisakin thanked the Governor and people of Gombe state for providing the facility that housed Operations Safe Corridor . He stated further, that aside kinetic operations, the AFN, as a matter of deliberate policy, carries out other initiatives such as provision of social services to host communities in operational theatre, clarifying that ” the AFN is not only trying to win the war but to also win the peace”.
He therefore, assured that the challenges associated with Operation Safe Corridor facility and the NYSC Orientation Camp in the State would be addressed by appropriate superior authorities with a view to ensure the sustenance of the de-radicalization programme.
Earlier in his remarks, the Executive Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya commended the efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) in tackling security challenges through robust engagements and initiatives that have yielded positive results particularly in the North East, where the military has been combating insurgency and terrorism.
The Governor noted that his state’s proximity to the theatre of Operations LAFIYA DOLE in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States has resulted to influx of internally displaced persons into the State. According to him, these displaced persons now reside permanently in the state, thereby resulting to infrastructure deficit. In this regard, he appealed to the CDS to review the conditions of the use of the facility currently serving Operation Safe Corridor in Kwami LGA of the State to enable the state Government overcome some of its infrastructure challenges.
He added, that he was at the DHQ to rob minds with the CDS on how to improve the security situation challenges in the state.He expressed appreciation for the Operations Safe Corridor initiative and the provision of social services to the host communities.