Nigeria engages experts to de-radicalise convicted insurgents
Nigeria has engaged psychologists and counsellors to pioneer the rehabilitation and de-radicalisation of convicted Boko Haram terrorists.
The country is also utilising Islamic scholars to counter extremist narratives by training them on aspects of dialogues and religious counselling.
The Deputy Ambassador to the UN, Amb. Samson Itegboje, unveiled the plan when he presented Nigeria’s statement to the UN Security Council.
In the statement released in Abuja on Friday, he said: “We are also working assiduously with the affected communities to design economic revitalisation prograrnmes targeted at people most affected by terrorism and violent extremism.”
The Nigerian envoy seized the opportunity to assure the Security Council that following the recent release of 82 of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, the Federal Government has intensified efforts at securing the release of the remaining girls.
He added that government was also not leaving any stone unturned in securing the release of any other abducted girls and women, including freeing them from the ideological grips of Boko Haram terrorists.
“Having regained their freedom, it is equally important that they regain their self-esteem and be assisted to return to their families and back to their schools.
“Furthermore, emergency teams of psycho-social counselors and health professionals have been dispatched to the northeast to assist with the profiling of the victims for appropriate therapies,” he said.
“In addition, the Federal Government has put in motion legal remedies for victims of Boko Haram terrorism in the form of rape and other sexual violence against children, abduction of children and other grave violations,” Itegboje said.
The Deputy Permanent Representative said Nigeria also endorsed the ‘Safe Schools Declaration’ by which it committed to implementing the ‘Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict’.
He said Nigeria commended the works of all the UN agencies actively working with Nigeria to ensure the restoration of peace, security and development in the Northeast.
He commended Mohammed for taking such an important trip to Nigeria to highlight the importance of women’s role in achieving peace and sustainable development.
“We recommit to ensuring that women and girls enjoy full rights and that those who have perpetrated sexual violence are dealt with in accordance with our national laws and international obligations,” the Nigerian envoy assured.