In News by Oluwaseun Samuel on the 01st, August, 2020

How Boko Haram Captured, Turned Us To Killing Machines And Camp Attendants

How Boko Haram Captured, Turned Us To Killing Machines And Camp Attendants

Repentant Boko Haram

Repentant Boko Haram

Thirty-eight-year-old Abdulwahab Usman,  an indigene of Bama in Borno State, stated he was pressured to affix Boko Haram.

He is likely one of the 601 who graduated on Saturday from the De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration Camp of Operation Protected Hall, within the Kwami Native authorities Space of Gombe State.

He acknowledged that for 5 years with the sect, earlier than he surrendered to the army in December 2019,  he couldn’t rely the variety of individuals he killed.

He added, “I used to be pressured into the group for about 5 years.  I can’t keep in mind the variety of individuals I killed as a Boko Haram member as a result of they’re many. Boko Haram individuals got here to our village on the lookout for those that are of college age and that was how my mates and me had been pressured into the group. Finally, we escaped from Boko Haram hideout, so troopers took us to Giwa barracks in Borno.

“I by no means knew that I wouldn’t be killed due to the varied incidents that occurred within the bush. The camp has actually modified my way of life as a result of I by no means thought I’d nonetheless be alive right this moment, to not speak of being helpful once more to myself and society. We stayed within the bush, on the lookout for individuals to kill and folks too had been seeking to kill us. I had no peace of thoughts then however now I’ve peace.”

Boko Haram has for years been carrying out bloody assaults within the North-East, particularly in Borno State, killing villagers, troopers, support staff, burning homes and abducting schoolgirls and girls.

Usman acknowledged that his expectation was met on the deradicalisation camp primarily based on his expertise there.

He stated, “None of us was killed throughout the de-radicalisation course of. I actually loved my keep within the camp as a result of many people weren’t anticipating such hospitality from the Nigerian authorities. We had been properly taken care of. They taught us totally different trades. Within the camp, we had been uncovered to talent acquisition resembling welding, barbing and carpentry and so on. However I selected to be taught barbing. Once I return to my hometown, I want to proceed with barbing. I  is not going to go again to Boko Haram.”

He known as on his former colleagues to give up to the Nigerian authorities,  including that, “it’s the finest factor for them to give up to the federal government and drop their arms. It is not going to assist them to proceed in what they’re doing, as a result of they’ll in the future be killed for peace to return.

“We got the Quran due to our assurance that we might develop into good residents. I can’t return to that group (Boko Haram) irrespective of the struggling for the reason that authorities has chosen to be responsive.”

Usman described his life whereas with the sect as horrendous, noting,  “Our lives within the bush had been in fixed hazard as a result of day by day our ideas had been whether or not the troopers would come. Day by day, fighter jets hovered over and round us. A few of us had been killed whereas others often ran for security.  We suffered an assault at Konduga. There, about 763 had been killed. I survive demise by a whisker. I will always remember.”

He additional suggested  the federal government to present present members of the sect a authorized doc to persuade them of their security as soon as they surrendered.

“The Nigerian authorities ought to  current them (Boko Haram members) a doc assuring them of their security as soon as they surrendered. We surrendered as a result of we noticed the doc and 601 of us had been rehabilitated and now graduating. If the doc is thrown to them and so they see it, lots of them will give up seeing that we had been not killed however rehabilitated,” he stated.

 

Babagana Mairambe is a former workers officer with the Bama Native Authorities Training Authority. He was topped the general finest graduating member of the fourth batch of the DRR camp.

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Mairambe stated life was regular earlier than he was captured by Boko Haram,  including that the considered his household security was a significant fear for him within the camp of the sect.

He stated, “I’m married with three wives and 17 youngsters. None of my youngsters was concerned or captured by the sect. I wish to inform these nonetheless within the forest to give up their weapons to authorities.

“I’ve regrets as a member of Boko Haram as a result of my time was wasted all via the years I spent there. I was a workers officer with the Bama Native Authorities Training Authority as of 2014. Of a reality, I didn’t be part of the sect willingly. I used to be in a city when the native authorities headquarters was captured and I used to be taken away. I didn’t have any alternative to flee from my attackers.”

Mairambe added that as a consequence of his age, he couldn’t advance additional to some hotbeds with the sect however was used for different operations.

“It was solely God that spared me and made me come out of this. Due to my age, I couldn’t work straight for them. When the prospect offered itself, I needed to run out to give up myself to the Nigerian authorities,” he stated.

Twenty-one-year previous Saleh Isa was a farmer whose path with the sect crossed whereas he was farming on his of land.

He stated, “I really feel pleased and grateful to our leaders and the Nigerian authorities. I learnt the way to sew on the DRR camp. Once I get residence, I’ll proceed with stitching. I promise to honour my mother and father, loyal and trustworthy to Nigeria.”

Isa added that he was not taken on to Sambisa however to a different a part of the forest.

He stated, “Boko Haram caught us on the farm and took us to one in every of their camps. They took us to a different a part of the forest.

“I used to be within the outer half and we stayed with a few of them. I stayed with Boko Haram for 3 years present process coaching and rudiments however I didn’t get to the stage of carrying a gun.

“Nonetheless, others and myself understood their methods. When there was an opportunity to flee, we did. In actual fact, I willingly raised my palms alongside others to give up to the army. We didn’t keep too lengthy with them at their camp earlier than they took us away and taught us helpful expertise that might be useful to us and our individuals.”

One other ex-member of the sect, Amadu Auwal, often known as Muhammed Auwal, supplied medical companies for the group.

In response to Auwal, he was concerned in treating gun wounds and ailing members of the group particularly after a powerful encounter with the army.

He stated the one alternative opened to him was to affix the Boko Haram sect and keep alive, including that another alternative meant demise.

He stated, “I’m Auwal Amadu often known as  Muhammad Auwal relying on the situation. We had been residing in our village peacefully. I’m from Madalaka Native Authorities Space of Adamawa State. I lived in Bulak village beneath Madalaka native authorities.

“2014 was when Boko Haram attacked us there.  We didn’t know what was occurring and so they requested us to both be part of them or the troopers. If we joined the troopers, they might kill us however they spared our lives after we determined to affix them (Boko Haram). They took us to Sambisa Forest instantly and we realised that was not a good factor. There was no expertise in Sambisa as a result of there was nothing good there. All I do know is that they often drive us to do some issues and if one refuses, that alerts the tip for one.

“I used to be like a nurse. I solely administered injections and gave medicines. In the event that they go someplace and are available again wounded, I deal with the injured and sick members of the sect.”

He added that he was a scholar previous to his forceful enlistment with the sect, noting that his English improved whereas on the camp.

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“I used to be a Senior Secondary College scholar. The DRR camp supplied me with a nice expertise.  I’m a tailor.  We’re those who sew the garments we wore and we additionally made sneakers. It’s stage by stage. As an illustration, in case you are studying tailoring and also you grasp it, you may be transferred to a different space.”

 

Auwal, who appealed to others nonetheless concerned in killing to retreat and give up, stated that he felt like an entrepreneur primarily based on the abilities he acquired on the DRR camp.

He added, “I need to open a tailoring and laundry store. The troopers already advised us that we might be taken to Gombe DRR camp to spend six months. The troopers didn’t seize me. I surrendered myself. I’ve a spouse and two youngsters. I wish to advise these nonetheless within the forest to desist from the act. It’s a foul factor. They ought to depart that forest for rehabilitation.”

Twenty-year-old Yusuf Ali, an indigene of Borno State, Bama council space, stated he was pressured to affix the sect on his solution to Kano after the bus he was travelling in was hijacked by the sect.

He acknowledged, “I used to be travelling to Kano to purchase some supplies for I work as a pc repairer when Boko Haram arrested me and took me right into a bush. On their camp, there are a number of areas of specialisation primarily based on members’ competence. Boko Haram gave me pc work to do together with pictures. I labored on computer systems.  My work concerned surveillance. I took footage of areas they needed to go for operation for them to be acquainted with the terrain.”

Ali stated surrendering to the Nigerian authorities was made potential by his mom.

He stated, “My mom requested me to give up to the Nigerian Military. I surrendered in Banki, however the Nigerian Military took me away from Banki and stored me in Giwabare. I spent two years and 7 months there. They advised me they might take me from Giwabare in Maiduguri to Gombe State.

“It was November final yr that I got here to the camp. There are variations in my life now. I used to be within the welding part. I didn’t know something about welding prior to now. However now, I’m first out of 16 individuals. I stay up for establishing my very own welding store,” he added.

He recalled one in every of his operations as a surveillance officer with the sect.

He stated, “Many individuals died through the operation. I keep in mind that about seven individuals died then at Dina village within the Cameroon space, a border between Nigeria and Cameroon.”

Rehabilitation of repentant B’Haram fighters

The Chief of Defence Workers and Chairman, Operation Protected Hall, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, known as on communities of repentant Boko Haram members to welcome them warmly, calling on others nonetheless with the sect to lay down their arms.

Olonisakin, represented by Director of Training, Actual Admiral V C Okeke, famous that the 601 members of the sect surrendered earlier than a 12-man quasi-judicial committee to take the oath of allegiance.

He spoke throughout a speech delivered on the Batch four, 2019 shoppers from the DRR camp in Mallam Sidi, Kwami LGA of Gombe State.

He stated, “I’m glad to tell you that the shoppers have been absolutely reintegrated and, wholly accepted by their host communities. Since 2017 when the primary set graduated, there has not been any destructive report regarding anybody of them.

“My expectation, subsequently, is that they’re discharged from Operation Protected Hall to their state governments via the normal and spiritual establishments to see they’re properly reconciled, resettled and reintegrated within the curiosity of peace and love for our pricey nation.

“Let me seize this chance to advise members of Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province nonetheless lurking round within the forests  to put down their arms, embrace peace and be part of the de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration programme in their very own curiosity.

“To this finish, the armed forces in Nigeria and different safety businesses working within the North-East will present protected passage for them to put down their arms for good.

I’ve noticed regular progress of the scheme and little question it’s a working technique complementing different efforts of the Federal Authorities to revive peace within the North-East.”

Additionally talking, the Coordinator, Operation Protected Hall, Maj. Gen. Bamidele Shafa, famous that the repentant members had proven constructive indicators of patriotism to the nation.

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He acknowledged, “As we speak, we’re witnessing a main achievement of the Federal Authorities of Nigeria at guaranteeing lasting peace within the North-East. For the reason that graduation of Operation Protected Hall in 2016, a complete of 914 shoppers have undergone the deradicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration programme.

“Amongst which 280 together with two Chadians have been efficiently transferred to their state authorities for reintegration. I’m glad to tell you that these shoppers have been absolutely reintegrated and wholly accepted by their host communities. Since 2017 when the primary set of 29 individuals graduated and reintegrated, there has been no destructive report regarding any of them. As we speak, the biggest set of 601 is graduating for reintegration to their nation and state.”

He added that on arrival on the camp, the shoppers went via documentation processes to yield important background data after which they had been subjected to complete medical screening to find out their well being statuses.

“Their DNA samples had been additionally collected whereas their biometrics had been captured on Nationwide Knowledge utilizing the Nationwide Identification Administration Fee, services for future references. The background data serves as a information for the consultants, the Native Therapy Workforce, to correctly place the shoppers for therapy therapies and vocational coaching. The LTT are specialised consultants in numerous fields of deradicalisation and rehabilitation therapies drawn from the Nigerian Correctional Service,” he stated.

The governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, represented by the state Lawyer Common and Commissioner for Justice, Kaka Lawan, expressed optimism the programme would carry respite to the area.

He stated, “Bringing out over 600 fighters from the bush to put their arms, rehabilitate them to denounce membership of an unlawful sect and to proclaim the citizenship of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a superb job. I’m extremely delighted.”

He denied that some residents of the state protested towards the approaching return of the ex-Boko Haram members to their respective communities.

He added, “I’m not conscious of that however rejection by the group can’t be dominated out due to the trauma and what they’ve discovered themselves in through the years. However with sufficient advocacy and sensitisation and the report that we’re presenting to the authorities for implementation, they are going to be welcomed.

“Throughout their screening, we found that 80 per cent had been harmless from 2009 to 2020. It’s about 11 years. We had been witnesses to the bombings and sporadic shootings. To criminals nonetheless preventing within the bush, they’ve an possibility of laying down their arms and embrace peace. The Federal Authorities and Borno State authorities are keen to just accept them, rehabilitate them and permit them to reside peacefully. But when they refuse, I can guarantee you that their days are numbered. Eventually, the armed forces will nip their actions within the bud.”

Presenting starter packs to the previous Boko Haram members, the consultant of the North-East Growth Fee, Abba Musa, stated the intention of the presentation was to assist the ex-fighters to be self-employed and helpful to their numerous communities after their coaching on camp.

He stated, “I wish to urge beneficiaries to make use of the objects for the needs they’re meant for and to develop into employers of labour in future.”

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Supply: The PUNCH

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