By Jethro Ibileke
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, has explained the role of transitional justice in the war against insurgency.
He disclosed this while delivering the 7th Founder’s Day lecture of the Edo State University, Uzairue.
The lecture had as it’s title: “National Defence Policy And Transitional Justice Approach In The War Against Insurgency In Nigerin”.
Irabor explained that transitional justice plays a key role in healing wounds of counter insurgency, such as Nigerian civil war and the Niger Delta crisis.
He explained further that Operation Safe Corridor as a transitional justice approach, was created similar to the Niger Delta Amnesty programme launched by the federal government in 2009 which involved the setting up of special facilities where repentant terrorists who surrendered their arms can be rehabilitated.
He added that Operation Safe Corridor in the North East has achieved some degrees of success, which he said could be built upon.
“The programme offers numerous opportunities and participants are scheduled for vocational training to ease their reintegration into the society”, he said.
Gen. Irabor however said despite the modest successes recorded by operation safe corridor in the fight against crime, the programme still faced a lot of challenges.
He listed some of challenges ro include the lack of specialised training experts and inadequate physical structure, inadequate collaboration and coordination, absence of appropriate legislation on reintegration, low agency and international participation as well as ineffective monitoring system.
As a way forward, Irabor called for train-the-trainers programme and establishment of special fund for De-radicalisation, Re-integration and Re-orientation (DRR), establishment of a national commission for DRR, enacting of a DRR Act, building of strategic partnerships and adoption of a whole-of-society approach to monitoring.
Meanwhile, General Irabor has disclosed that about 51,828 Boko Harram insurgents and their family members have surrendered to the federal government in about 11 months.
This is even as he said that 1,543 repentant terrorists have so far graduated from Mallam Sidi camp, in Gombe state between 2016 and 2022, while 1,935 have been released from the camp in Bulumkutu, Maiduguri.
According to him, “Between July 2021 to May 2022 alone, no fewer that 51,828 Boko haram and their family members have surrendered, out of which 13,360 are fighters”.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of Edo State University, Uzairue, Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor, explained that the University has been committed to the pursuit of world-class goals in teaching, learning and research.