Workers at the De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration Camp in Mallam Sidi under Kwami Local Government Area of Gombe State, have complained over the poor treatment being given to them compared to how 'repentant' Boko Haram terrorists are taken care of.
Some of the over 200 workers at the camp, drawn from various government agencies including the Nigerian military, who spoke with SaharaReporters, revealed that they were being served rice and beans ridden with stones and lacking adequate nourishment while the “so-called ex-Boko Haram fighters” are offered better food.
Despite the terrible nature of the food they are served at the camp, workers at the place have the cost deducted from their monthly allowances when they arrive.
Also, while the ‘repentant’ Boko Haram insurgents in the camp get free medical care, workers are made to buy their own drugs and injections whenever they fall ill.
SaharaReporters gathered that this disparity in treatment between the workers and 'repentant' terrorists has been causing disaffection within the camp and may lead to a bigger crisis if not urgently addressed.
"The feeding is getting worse by the day, too many stones in the rice and beans given to personnel. They still go-ahead to remove the cost from our allowances before they get to us.
"Meanwhile, the clients (‘repentant’ Boko Haram fighters) eat good food and are given anything they request. This is gross injustice and I think it should stop," a worker at the camp said.
Another aggrieved worker told SaharaReporters that they were now spending large chunks of their monthly incomes on buying medications each time they fell ill because medical supplies in the camp only went to ex-Boko Haram fighters.
"The medical facilities here initially was for both personnel and the clients (ex-Boko Haram fighters).
"But now the medical facilities are mainly for the clients. Most times we buy injections ourselves outside while the medical personnel inside the camp administer them on us.
"This is causing a lot of issues as it is clear that government places more importance on the ex-terrorists than we the workers ensuring their rehabilitation," the worker said.
Other workers, who also expressed discontentment at the situation, disclosed that the coordinator of the camp, General Maina, had starved them of funds as their allowance for January had yet to be paid.
"Allowances that used to be paid on the 30th of every month during previous administrations got worse when General Maina took over. Our allowances now crossover to the second week of the following month.
"There are some staff members in the camp that depend solely on the allowance. This delay in payment is frustrating some of us who aren't under Federal Government payroll.
"At the moment, only about 15 per cent of the personnel in the camp have been paid their January allowance while the rest haven't received payment," another worker at the camp said.
The DRR camp was established under Operation Safe Corridor in 2016 to help reform terrorists, who renounce their old ways to embrace a new life.