Repentant Boko-Haram members engaged in environmental sanitation
As part of measures preparing them for reintegration, some repentant Boko-Haram members were on Saturday engaged in the sanitation of Maiduguri.
It was gathered that the exercise was organised by the Centre for Democracy Development (CDD), in collaboration with the Borno State Government.
Speaking on the exercise, Prof. Mala Mustafa, a Senior Research Fellow with CDD, said the development was to prepare them for community services as part of the reintegration process.
“The rationale behind this exercise is for CDD to support the Borno State Government as part of preparatory work for the reintegration of the ex-combatants.
“We felt it’s imperative to change the narrative, particularly the negative perception about them among community members.
“We want to rebuild relationship and trust between those that surrendered and community members,” Mustafa said.
He explained that 400 of the repentant insurgents had been mobilised for the exercise with 50 of them participating this Saturday for a start in Maiduguri Hajj Camp which is housing over 12,000 of the repentant insurgents and their families.
Mustafa said the exercise by the repentant militants would be gradually extended to some selected communities in Maiduguri and its environment.
According to him, the repentant terrorists have been provided with some training, particularly on civic education on how to deal with the challenges of stereotyping, while some Islamic clerics handled them on extremism.
Also, the Special Adviser to Governor Babagana Zulum on Security, Gen. Abdullahi Ishaq, lauded the Initiative by CDD which he said had been supporting the reintegration process.
He called for more support for the Borno state government from well-meaning Nigerians and organisations in facilitating the process which required funding and other support.
Some of the repentants wearing T-shirts bearing inscriptions like “Please forgive us! We have repented” and “Let’s rebuild Borno again”, who spoke to newsmen, called on the public for forgiveness and acceptance for more peace and progress of the state.