The Nigerian Army have held a two-day civil-military-focused training for the Operations Safe Corridor, OPSC, Community to enhance the de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration, DRR, programme for incoming repentant-insurgents.
Speaking with journalists during the training, the Coordinator, Operations Safe Corridor, Major General Bamidele Shafa, said the programme was to prepare Operation Safe Corridor team ahead of the next DRR programme, which will ring a large number of the ex-combatants.
Major General Shafa said what necessitated the training was the need to enhance the capacity of the various stakeholders in the programme, in line with global best practice, previous engagements with the clients and the need to improve on the DRR programme.
“The need to see that we continue to improve on our operations, that’s why we have brought in experts to prepare us as we are about to receive the largest number of clients. So we felt it is necessary that we equip ourselves to handle not just the clients but to also impact on the society where we are going to integrate them,” Major General Shafa said.
He said the programme was equally embarking on community services to different communities for their supports to the success of the DRR programme, such as medical outreaches and providing basic materials to schools in the communities.
According to Major General Shafa, one of the great lessons learnt from previous exercises, was the huge impact made and the acceptance from the people.
“Yesterday in Borno State, we handed over 80 young people to the state government and United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF and we saw the enthusiasm and the willingness of the people,’’ he said.
The Commandant of the DRR Camp, OPSC, Colonel Musa Ibrahim,
said the DRR programme was meeting its expectations by equipping the repentant insurgents with skills, to make them useful to their societies.
Colonel Ibrahim said the efforts of both the Federal and some state governments toward ending insurgency through the OPSC programme, showed that they were committed to peace in the country.
The Executive Director, North East Development Commission, Mr. Maiwada Omar, said the DRR Programme was an important stage for post crisis anywhere in the world, because it builds peace and enhance development.
According to him, the Federal Government, through the DRR programme, had shown its committed in developing the North-East sub-region and the well-being of the citizens.
A facilitator at the training, from Centre for Democracy and Development, Mr. Jasper Ukachukwu, said peace was needed for Nigeria’s democracy to thrive, adding that Centre would continue to partner with relevant stakeholders to give their supports.
Mr. Ukachukwu said the Centre for Democracy and Development had been working with the OPSC, providing technical supports and sometimes, funding, to ensure security in the country for democracy to work effectively and functionally.
Also, Course Director, Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre, Ghana, Mr Augustine Owusu, told journalists that the training was focused more on re-integration, using the Integrated Disarmament De-radicalisation Reintegration Standards.
He expressed optimism that the training would enhance the capacity of OPSC community on the DRR process in line with the United Nations standards.