By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – Barely a week after 350 criminals terrorizing Anchau axis in Kubau Local Government Area of Kaduna State renounced their lifestyles of criminality, another set of about 1,150 of them comprising rustlers, kidnappers, armed robbers and gangsters have also repented.
The repented criminals who were gathered at the Government Secondary School, Damau in Kubau LGA swore by the Qur’an not to go back to their old ways of life rather will help in convincing their old comrades to follow suit.
Speaking to newsmen at the venue, the Police Public Relations Officer, Kaduna State Command, ASP Mukhtar Aliyu said the criminals willingly reported at the venue after discussion with community leaders, youth leaders and vigilante group members.
He added that the effort was part of the disarmament programme initiated by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris; and it is also a means of promoting Community Policing, a project championed by the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police; Mr. Austin Iwar.
ASP Aliyu further disclosed that the repented criminals also surrendered their weapons to the government.
“If you want to solve a problem you have to work with people that created the problem. We held series of meetings with hunters as prelude to the series of activities we call Renouncing Violence Strategies,” he said.
Also speaking, the Head Vigilante Services in Kubau LGA, Mallam Audu Salau attributed the success recorded so far to the commitment shown by the police and sought for support from both the Federal, State and LGA to end criminality in the hinterland.
According to him, those who repented did so voluntarily without force, saying the area has begun to witness relative peace since the programme commenced.
One of the repentant criminals, Shehu Kabiru who said he belong to a 5-man kidnapping gang thanked the State Government and the Police for giving him an opportunity to begin a new life and promised never to thread that wrong path again.
Similarly, Bello Yahaya, a rustler said his mission now is to lead other criminals out of the forest to repentance.