The establishment of OPERATION SAFE CORRIDOR in Gombe State by the President, Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria 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 yesterday 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.
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.