594 Repentant Terrorists Ask Nigerians For Forgiveness

By Damilare Adeleye

No fewer than 594 repentant terrorists have begged Nigerian people for forgiveness over their previous roles played in destabilizing some communities in the country.

The ex-insurgents made this appeal during a ceremony held to celebrate their graduation from a deradicalisation programme on Saturday.

The former insurgents reportedly completed a six-month De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DRR) programme in Kwami Local Government Area of Gombe State.

They tendered the apology during their graduation ceremony which took place at Malam Sidi camp run by the Nigerian Army, under Operation Safe Corridor.

“We apologise to Nigerians and our various state governments, our communities, and everyone seated here should extend our apology to all and sundry in the various communities we came from.

“We are very sorry and we are not going back to this atrocity,” said Muhammad Abba, who spoke on behalf of the Ex-Boko Haram and ISWAP members.

“We have taken the oath of allegiance to our peaceful and lovely country, Nigeria.

“We know the consequences of taking an oath with the Qur’an or the Holy Bible.

“Whenever you betray your oath, God will not be happy and He will also punish you. Even if you escape the security agencies of Nigeria, you cannot escape the wrath of God, “ he said.

Abba further assured that the ex-insurgents would remain loyal and faithful to Nigeria and work towards the peace and stability of the country.

“Now that we have been trained and are going back to our respective societies, we will always extend our hands of peace and love to everyone, because we have understood that there is no culture or belief that is greater than being human.

“We have learnt a lot on religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence in the society; without peace, a child that says his mother will not sleep, he too will not sleep,” he said.

The ex-insurgents commended President Muhammadu Buhari for initiating and ensuring the continuity of the DRR programme.

“We assure him that he will not regret initiating the programme,” he added.

According to reports, the 594 deradicalised ex-insurgents will be taken back to their communities.

The camp Commandant, Col. Uche Nnabuihe, said three of the ex-insurgents were from Niger Republic and one from Chad.

He added that six of the deradicalised insurgents are Christians.

Nnabuihe also said 15 of them were from Adamawa, 495 Borno, 16 Kano, three Gombe, 16 Yobe, 13 Kaduna, and one from Kogi.

He added that 12 of the ex-insurgents were from Bauchi, five each from Jigawa and Katsina, four from Kebbi, one each from Nasarawa and Plateau, and two from Zamfara.