Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima on Saturday, October 1st, received 348 Boko Haram suspects who were cleared by the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army for onward rehabilitation and reintegration with their families.
The governor congratulated the people of the state and the nation for its 56th Independence Anniversary and thanked for peace and harmony.
"In this auspicious day of our 56th independence Anniversary of our nation, it is my singular honor and privilege to congratulate the good people of Borno and thank the God Almighty for giving us this opportunity to celebrate this occasion in peace and harmony," said Shettima.
"Two years ago, nobody will have thought we can gather in an atmosphere of tranquility, peace and serenity of mind for us to celebrate this occasion. We want to register our profound gratitude to the Nigerian Army and all other security agencies that played active roles in ensuring of restoration of peace in our state. It is gratifying to note that the last back shade of the insurgents have been finally liberated and we want to thank the Nigerian Army for handing over 348 people to us. It is noteworthy that this is fifth time the Nigerian Army is releasing such people to us. This bears testimony to the fact that the Nigerian Army sticktly adheres to rule of law, equity, justice and fairness.
"Be rest assured that these released suspect will be adequately rehabilitated and resettled with their families and for the younger one who are under the ages of 5-10, we should immediately explore a means of taking them to our rehabilitation facility. Once again I will like to congratulate all Nigerians on our 56th independencenAnniversary and on behalf of all people of Borno state I wish to thank all security agencies in the state for the prominent roles they have played in clearing scourge of insurgents," Shettima further stated.
Earlier in his welcome speech, the acting GOC of the 7th Division Brig. Gen. Victor Ezugwu said the overall goal of the releasing is for the sake of doing to innocent Nigerian.
"This event is the fifth of such which the 7 Division has conducted since assumption of this command and the overall goal is that the just and innocent citizens of Nigeria do not suffer injustice," said Ezugwu.
"There are some other suspects who are not released today because they committed crimes that are civil in nature and as such, would be handed over to the Nigeria Police and Department of State Services for further action. Amongst them are also 6 foreigners who illegally entered Nigeria. They consist of 4 Cameroonians, one Chadian and one Jamaican and would be handed over to the Nigerian Immigration Service for deportation.
"I wish to use this opportunity to thank the Borno state government under the able and dynamic leadership of Hon. Kashim Shettima for giving political impetus to activities of the military and other security agencies in the state," Ezugwu said.More photos below...