No fewer than 594 former Boko Haram insurgents have begged Nigerians for forgiveness over the roles they played in destabilising communities in the country.
They made the plea following their graduation from the Federal Government’s Operation Safe Corridor’s De-Radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration programme at Malam Sidi, Kwami Local Government Area of Gombe State.
DRR is a rehabilitation programme for ex-insurgents run by the Nigerian Army, under Operation Safe Corridor.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, the camp Commandant, Col. Uche Nnabuihe, said, “Fifteen clients hail from Adamawa, 495 from Borno, 16 from Yobe, 16 from Kano, three from Gombe, 13 from Kaduna, one from Kogi, 12 from Bauchi, five from Jigawa, five from Katsina, four from Kebbi, one from Nasarawa, one from Plateau, while two are from Zamfara states.”
Nnabuihe said out of the 594 graduating repentant terrorists, ‘’590 are Nigerians, while four others are foreigners; three Nigeriens, and one Chadian.’’
The camp commandant stated that “588 clients are Muslims, while six are Christians.”
He explained that upon arrival, medical tests were conducted on them while their data were captured by the National Identity Management Commission.
He said, “Today marks yet another milestone in the de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration programme for regular Batch Six 2002 and Special Batch 4 2002 clients that arrived at the DRR camp between September 2022 and October 8, 2022, for the mandatory de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration programme.
“Upon arrival, the clients, totalling 594, were subjected to comprehensive physical and medical tests by a combined team of medical experts from the DRR camp clinic and Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe.
The medical tests were aimed at ascertaining the health status of the clients towards providing proper and adequate care during the DRR training cycle.”
Nnabuihe added that “they were trained in skills for self-reliance after re-interpretation with their communities in this regard.
“Eighty-five clients trained as barbers, 81 clients trained in shoemaking, 158 clients chose welding as their vocation of choice, and 213 clients selected tailoring.
“More so, 38 clients were trained in carpentry, while 28 learnt skills in laundry services. All the clients participated in the mandatory integrated farming, training activities which include agro, poultry and fish farming,” he stated.