According to Nigerian authorities, 559 ex-Boko Haram members have completed a de-radicalization program and will be reintegrated into society soon. Over the weekend, a graduation ceremony was held at a de-radicalization center in the north-eastern state of Gombe.
The grandaunts swore loyalty to the Nigerian authorities they had previously opposed. The Nigerian government launched the military-led effort in 2015, and it went live in 2016 as part of its counter-terrorism strategy. Boko Haram members who willingly lay down their arms and surrender to the police receive specialized training, including occupational skills, religious reorientation, and psychological care, before being reintegrated back into society. So far, 1,629 ex-members of Boko Haram have finished the program.
Given the magnitude of violence perpetrated by Boko Haram, the public still has reservations about former members of the organization. The Boko Haram insurgency, which began in 2009, has resulted in the murder of around 350,000 people and the displacement of millions more in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.