Some repentant members of the Boko Haram sect have pleaded with Nigerians to forgive them for their nefarious activities over the years.
They made the appeal while fielding questions from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during their graduation after a de-radicalization exercise and vocational training organized for them by the Federal Government which took place at the former permanent NYSC Orientation camp in Mallam-Sidi town in Kwami Local Government Area of Gombe State yesterday April 3rd.
A farmer-turned member of the sect who hails from Borno, Bappah Mura said he was deceived into joining the group, only to realize that all they were told were lies, adding that he regretted all his actions while with the sect. He said:
“I beg Nigerians for forgiveness. I regret totally what we were forced to do; it was not my intention but I beg for forgiveness. I was a humble farmer before I was deceived to join the Boko Haram sect. 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 that we were used to destroy lives and property by the sect.
“Today, I am graduating as a trained shoemaker. I can make shoes of different brands; I am now an ambassador of peace.”
A 62-year-old ex-Boko Haram member, Abana Ali, said he was sorry for everything, noting that they were also terrorized while with the sect until the army came to their rescue. She said:
“I am deeply pained in the heart 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 operations, 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 de-radicalisation training has been helpful and now I do not need to go home to beg, but to contribute what I have been taught. Nigerian youths 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 witness the harsh condition we were subjected to.”