Bauchi State governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, has said that injustice and bad governance are the bane of terrorism in the country.
This is as the governor pledged to accept and integrate two repentant Boko Haram members who are indigenes of the state into the community to live a normal life again.
Governor Mohammed stated this today while receiving members of the Operation Safe Corridor who paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Bauchi.
According to the governor, people were forced to join terrorist groups because of injustice and bad governance, adding that his administration is ready to support initiatives aimed at enabling repentant insurgents be integrated into society.
He informed that the Bauchi State government under his leadership has developed a model for interaction with stakeholders to address people’s grievances.
The governor expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for finding it necessary to come up with the Operation.
This, according to Governor Mohammed, is a solution to some of the insecurity challenges in the country.
He, however, appealed to the management of the Operation Safe Corridor to engage religious leaders in their activities because of the influence they have on the people, submitting that this will help the Operation to achieve its set objectives.
“I wish to welcome you to Bauchi and to appreciate you for the visit in recognition of our responsibilities as leaders.
“We thank the President for finding it necessary to establish the Operation, which we believe is the only solution that will accommodate, integrate these people who engaged in terrorism for many perception and other reasons.
“Injustice and bad governance are some of the reasons for the involvement of people in criminal activities.
“I want to request the coordinator of the Operation to include religious leaders because of their influence in the society,” Governor Mohammed told his guests.
He then assured that the state government will collaborate with the Operation Safe Corridor and provide it with the necessary assistance to operate in order for the repentant Boko Haram members to be useful members of the society.
The governor informed that the state government is focused on addressing gaps in infrastructure and services, adding that his administration is strategic with a view to meeting people’s expectations in the state.
Speaking earlier, the Coordinator of the Operation Safe Corridor,
Major General MB Shafa, told the governor that they were at the Government House to brief him on the activities of the Operation as well as solicit his support for better performance.
According to him, they have embarked on a tour of states of the North-East region in preparation for the re-integration of repentant insurgents who have been in training in the past six months.
“Your Excellency in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari established Operation Safe Corridor at a time when the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies were making significant gains in tackling insecurity in the North-East region.
“The President in his wisdom saw the need to encourage those willing and repentant to lay down their arms and embrace peace so as to be rehabilitated and integrated into the society,” he said.
General Shafa informed the governor that the Operation Safe Corridor has representatives from 17 different ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) with a total of 468 staff.
According to him, two out of the repentant insurgents undergoing training in the past six months and who will be graduating this coming Saturday are from Bauchi State.