According to a report by the BBC, an estimated 86 gunmen in the region surrendered their weapons for a more secure and honest future. For years these gunmen have been synonymous with the rampant kidnappings and killings in the area.
Some parts of Northern Nigeria have been hotspots for violent activities such as kidnappings and terrorist attacks. So the surrender of almost 100 gunmen marks a milestone event for the restoration of lawfulness in the region.
A ceremony was held to commemorate the event. The abdicated gunmen were received in the town of Bangui, where they admitted that they had resorted to a life of crime as a result of the high level of unemployment where they reside.
But recently, after much soul-searching, they decided that violence wasn’t an option in the wake of the damage they had wrought.
In light of this new development, they asked the government to create jobs for them. The government’s initial response has been to pardon and rehabilitate these ex-gunmen. They will not be tried for their crimes and would face zero penalties for the damage to life and property they have caused thousands. Also, there has been no word on whether the families of their victims would be compensated.
In addition to surrendering, the ex-gunmen also promised to aid authorities in the region in fighting crime by trying to convince other kidnappers to also surrender and embrace peace.
In turn, the authorities in the region have promised to render vocational skills to the ex-gunmen.
Officials have noted that this is the first step in restoring peace in the region. This move is one of President Mohammed Bazoum’s strategies to end the insecurity in Niger.