1,075 YOUTHS TURNED BACK FROM POST AMNESTY TRAINING CAMP -COMMANDANT
Anesah told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that there were 1,500 trainees in the camp from Rivers currently undergoing the mandatory transitional training in non-violence and that those turned back included ex-militants who are women, who could not be accommodated in the current batch.
“The 16th batch of trainees from Rivers came in on Aug. 14. They are 1,500. We have a good number of illiterates and physically-challenged persons in the batch and they are doing well. Some female ex-militants also came, but since we cannot accommodate them in this batch, we asked them to go.'
Anesah said that the youth, who were turned back, decided to come on their own and hang around.
“We made them understand that since their names were not on the list they would not be allowed to participate in the programme.''
Also speaking to NAN, Dr Tunde Jegede, the camp's medical doctor, said that eligible trainees whose health conditions could not allow them to participate in the training had also been decamped.
“We have had course to do so in the past, and even referred some cases, which we could not handle in our facilities to other health institutions.''
Ms Joy Imeli, the spokesperson for the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria (FEHN), an NGO in charge of the training of the ex-militants on non-violence, also told NAN that more than 814 trainees in the batch were illiterates.
“The trainees are doing well. But we found out that more than 814 of them are illiterates. However, we have enough staff to handle such challenges,'' she said.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr Ibinabo Okoroji, said that he was happy about the training and thanked the initiators for giving the ex-militants the opportunity to earn a living through non-violent means.
Okoroji, who said he belonged to the Farah Dagogo Camp during the struggle, appealed to the Federal Government to fish out those still supplying guns and arming youths in the Niger Delta.
Anesah said 20,192 ex-militants were taking part in the 16th batch.