Some apologetic Boko- Haram members were on Saturday engaged in sanitation of maiduguri as part of measures preparing them for reintegration. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the exercise was organised by Centre for Democracy Development, CDD, in collaboration with the Borno Government.Speaking on the exercise, Mala Mustafa, a Senior Research Fellow with CDD, said the development was to prepare them for community services as part of the reintegration process.
He explained that 400 of the apologetic mutineers had been mobilised for the exercise with 50 of them sharing this Saturday for a launch in Maiduguri Hajj Camp that’s casing over,000 of the repentants and their families.
“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,” Mr Mustafa said.
Mr Mustafa said the exercise by the repentants would be gradationally extended to some named communities in Maiduguri and its terrain.
According to him, the repentants have been handed some training, particularly on communal education on how to deal with the challenges of stereotyping, while some Islamic ministers handled them on unreasonableness.
Also, the Special Adviser to Governor Babagana Zulum on Security, Abdullahi Ishaq, lauded the Initiative by CDD which he said had been supporting the reintegration process.
“CDD provided the equipment for this exercise and has been providing us with technical advice as good partners,” Mr Ishaq said.
He noted that the “Sulhu Alheri” initiative taken by government after years of the insurgency, had led to unprecedented number of insurgents surrendering which led to improved peace in affected areas of Borno.
“Today, Maiduguri is more peaceful than Abuja. We want to continue to call on communities to support this sulhu (peace) process by accepting them,” Mr Ishaq said.
He called for further support to Borno government from well meaning Nigerians and organisations in easing the process which needed backing and other support.
Some of the repentants wearing T- shirts bearing eulogies like “ Please forgive us! We’ve lamented ” and “ Let’s rebuild Borno again ”, who spoke to NAN, called on the public for remission and acceptance for further peace and progress of the state.NAN reports that over,000 mutineers and members of their families have surrendered to the authorities as at July 29.
They comprised,609 combatants,,955 women, and,029 children.NAN