Some deradicalised members of the Boko Haram sect on Wednesday begged Nigerians for forgiveness over their past unwholesome activities.
They made the appeal while fielding questions from the News Agency of Nigeria during their graduation ceremony after a deradicalisation exercise and vocational training, organised by the Federal Government. The deradicalisation and vocational training took place at the former permanent NYSC Orientation camp in Malam-Sidi town of Kwami Local Government Area in Gombe State.
Bappah Mura, a farmer before his Boko Haram stint hails from Borno State. He said he was deceived into joining the group, only for him to realise that all he had been told were lies, adding that he regretted all his actions while with the sect.
“I beg Nigerians for forgiveness. I regret totally what we were forced to do; it was not my intentions. I beg for forgiveness.
“I was a humble farmer before I was deceived into joining Boko Haram. All they told us were different from all we were made to do; they lied to me and deceived many of us.
“My heart bleeds, especially after our rehabilitation and vocational training, that we were used to destroy lives and property by the sect.
He pledged to return to Bama, to his home town, and use his knowledge of the sect to expose their lies, so as to dissuade youth from being deceived.
“Today, I am graduating as a trained shoe-maker; I can make shoes of different kinds; I am now an ambassador of peace,” he added.
Abana Ali, a 62-year-old ex-Boko Haram member said he was sorry for everything, noting that they were also terrorized while with the sect, until the army came to their rescue.
“I am deeply pained that we had been associated with such a devilish group; I beg Nigerians to forgive and accept us back.
“We were deceived and forced to join the sect. Because of my age, I was not allowed to partake in their operation, but was made to do menial jobs in their camps; we were also terrorised and enslaved until the army rescued us.
“We are grateful to the Federal Government for the show of love; the deradicalisation training has been helpful and now I do not need to go home to beg, but to contribute what I have been taught.
“Youth out there, I tell you the truth; there is no gain being Boko Haram members, except for regret and intense sorrow; we pray that no youth witnesses the harsh condition we were subjected to,” he said.
A housewife, Aisha Bukar, who visited her ex-Boko-Haram husband, said she was happy to be reunited with the father of her son, adding that she was three months pregnant when they separated.
Bukar added that the baby was named by the younger brother of the husband because she thought that the husband was no longer alive.
She appealed to Nigerians to forgive and accept those that had repented and received training from the Federal Government.