Former Boko Haram members protest over hunger, non-payment of N30,000 allowance

Former members of Boko Haram who are undergoing a deradicalisation and rehabilitation programme at the Hajj Camp in Maiduguri have embarked on a protest over alleged failure of the government in paying them the N30,000 allowance it promised.

Penpushing reports that the former terrorists which record has it that about 6,900 of them had surrendered to the Nigerian authorities and renounced their membership of the terrorist organization, broke out of the facility and stormed the streets  on Friday from the camp located in the Borno State Capital, alleging abandonment by the government.

The protest engaged by some of them caused tension and gridlock along the Bulumkutu – Maiduguri Highway before the security operatives arrived to douse the tension, as they claimed that they were forced to protest to register their disappointment to the world and the authorities.

Penpushing further reports that the former Islamists claimed that they took the actions because they have been neglected, left without adequate food and other welfare amenities, adding that the authorities concerned had promised to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into the society to enable them live a lawful life as responsible Nigerians.

The Borno State Commissioner of Information and Internal Security, Usman Tar, while reacting to the ugly development explained that biometrics registration for repentant insurgents had resumed after the incident.

‘As normalcy restored, officials of Borno State Government have on Friday resumed the biometrics data capture of repentant Boko Haram insurgents. A total of 6,900 repentant insurgents are processed under the multi-agency framework of Disarmament, Demobilisation, Deradicalisation, Rehabilitation, Reconciliation and Reintegration (DDDRRR) otherwise known as the “Borno Model’, he added.

Penpushing also reports that Tar explained that the data processing process was scheduled to be conducted in six batches by a certified team of intelligence and Information Communication Technology (ICT) experts with the utmost level of professionalism and confidentiality in data management.

‘Due to a bridge in communication, those who were supposed to appear for the data capture at a later date appeared on Friday, August 18, 2023, and this led to confusion at a camp where the exercise was being conducted’, he stated.

‘The Borno State government wishes to assure the public that the situation is under control and normalcy has been restored at the venue of the biometric exercise. The incident illustrated the sensitive task which authorities face in re-inserting former fighters back into communities that have often suffered from years of attacks and kidnappings during a 13-year Islamist insurgency’, he said.

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