REPENTANT Boko Haram militants have urged the government to give them a source of income as they return to their communities after undergoing various forms of rehabilitation.
The former insurgents spoke exclusively to Channels Television at the Bulumkutu Rehabilitation Centre in Maiduguri, where the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, gave them and some rescued Chibok girls food items.
They expressed concerns about their current situation and said that some of them were considering going back into the bush.
“I am still living in the camp although I have been freed by the authorities but I have nowhere to go, many of us are idle to the point that some are contemplating returning to the bush.
“I was a welder and gun repairer while in Sambisa, when I was surrendering I brought five guns with me as my contribution to the Nigerian government,” said one of the repentant Boko Haram fighters, Ali Kaka.
Another repentant Boko Haram fighter, Suleiman Abubakar, said, “I am one of those that surrendered their guns and I did it because I got tired of killing and stealing and needed to start a new life.
“We took up arms because of lack of jobs or tangible source of livelihood as such I will plead with the government to provide us source of livelihood so that some of us that have genuinely surrendered will not be tempted again.”
In response to their request, the Minister stated that the Federal Government is making every effort to reduce poverty among the society’s underprivileged masses, beginning with the impending supply of grants and low-interest loans.
The repentant insurgents as well as the Chibok girls who had been freed and other persons all assembled to receive the minister.
The Bulumkutu Rehabilitation Centre is where rescued persons including Chibok school girls and repentant insurgents are kept for monitoring and evaluation before being re-integrated into the society.