Abuja - The Presidential Amnesty Office on Wednesday said it trained ex-militants abroad in order to imbibe in them the value of relating well with other cultures and people.
The Special Assistant on Media in the Office, Daniel Alabrah, said this in Abuja.
Alabrah said the purpose of offshore training was to remove the ex-militants from the environment they were familiar with and expose them to other environments where they would mix with different races.
According to him, the arrangement is to help the ex-militants in the process of reintegrating with the larger society.
“The reintegration is not only about giving them jobs but removing them from the environment they were used to and moving them to other environment.
“In their new environment, they are expected to mix with people from different races.
“So, we do not think that they will go back to militancy because we have exposed them to training in different environment that they now see themselves as persons belonging to normal society.
“Creek life is not an easy life. So, we do not expect people who have been to school as far as Dubai, U.S. and UK to return to the creeks,’’ Alabrah said.
He expressed optimism that with the kind of training given to the former militants, it would be difficult of them return to the creeks.
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"For us, we know that the kind of programme we run is one that ensures that tomorrow you will hear these youths telling you that `I don’t want to go back to that kind of life.
"Anyone threatening to go back to the creek is not among those we have trained.’’
The special assistant said the Office would ensure that most of the ex-militants were rehabilitated by the end of 2015 when the Presidential Amnesty Programme was scheduled to terminate.
"Out of 30 000 beneficiaries of this programme, we have trained close to 18 000. As an institution, we don't have any fear that those yet to be trained will be left out.
"The fact is that we work within a yearly budget. So, there is no way we train every beneficiary in one year.
"This is because we are not going to spend the whole budget of the country on just this programme.
"So, the National Assembly approves a particular amount for training a number of persons per year. Normally, we are supposed to train between 2 000 and 2 500 yearly.’’
He said the Office exceeded that number by using its own internal mechanism to train more beneficiaries.