Nigeria: Surprising number of rebels seek rehabilitation

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A criminal rehabilitation project set up by Rotimi Amaechi, the governor of Rivers state in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria has began to yield fruit as over 3800 militants have reported in total surrender, seeking rehabilitation and reformation.

The very surprised governor who admitted to having little faith about the aim of the project initially has vowed to offer the repentant rebels retraining and re-integration into normal society as a way of closing a the chapters of their criminal activities in the state. The governor has also promised to provide more funding to enable the expansion of the facility which has accommodation space for only 300 people at the moment.

The governor who is aware of the possibilities of the come-clean youths falling back into crime, has mapped out a program to prevent any chance. “I am happy that you have responded to be reformed and retrained but I will be happier if you submit your guns. In fact, the more guns you surrender, the more resources I will provide for you. There are a lot of training programs we have and those of you who indicate interest in them will be sent for training, sometimes outside this country,” governor Amaechi said.

Despite his praise for the come-clean militants, the state governor insisted that there will be no general amnesty to all who have come clean. “I want to tell you before the youths who are seated here, anyone who has taken life will account for the life he has taken. Those who have not taken (any) lives will be rehabilitated,” he said.

The state governor who now refers to the repentant militants at the reform institute as “our children” has blamed parents of the Niger Delta for their criminal paths, rather than the system.

He has charged parents to help arrest moral decadence, blamed them for abdicating their responsibilities of disciplining their children and said because of the hard economic times, they hardly are able to control their children and turn their backs on their responsibilities to catering for them.

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