There was a wild jubilation in an Anambra community Enugu Ukwu as notorious and dreaded criminals terrorizing residents of the community surrender to police and renounce crime publicly.
This came after the Enugu Ukwu Community Development Union, headed by the President General of the community, Hon Bonny Ozo Nkwuaku, organised an anti-drug, anti-terror campaing within the community, Daily Post reports.
The kingpins, who residents of the community said had been torns in their flesh led their gang members out during the programme which featured lectures on the dangerous effects of illicit drug consumption, cultism, armed robbery, kidnapping, rape and prostitution.
Okafor and Nnenwa who spoke on behalf of their gang members during the renunciation begged the community for forgiveness, pledging not to return to their old ways.
They solicited with well meaning people in the community to help them start something meaningful, saying that part of the reason they indulged in crime was joblessness.
The President General while reporting to the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Ralph Ekpeh earlier during a courtesy call shortly before the commencement of the programme said his leadership believed that only negotiation, dialogue and sound advice, rather than arrest and imprisonment can keep youths of the community off vices.
Nkwuaku said he and members of his executive thought out the programme and specifically sought out notorious criminals in the community whom they preached to, on the importance of living drug and crime free life.
“I am particularly happy that this is happening under my watch as president general. We walked around the community and sensitized the people of the need to shun cultism, robbery, drug, prostitution and others.
Nkwuaku said his executive had met and dialogued with prominent personalities in the community on the possible ways of rehabilitating the repented criminals.
Mr Oddy Akubuike, Chairman Enugwu Ukwu Youth Forum told reporters that:
“We have mapped out ways of absorbing the youths that have renounced crime.
“We have Bought WAEC forms for the ones that want to go to school, barbing equipments, and others which we will use to empower them.
“We have spoken with various prominent persons in the community and we are going to integrate them into the society through skills acquisition and empowerment.”
The DPO of Enugwu Ukwu police division, Mr Dan Uke who was at the event confessed that the suspects have been terrorising the area for a long time, and have also given his men cause for concern.
“When the PG brought Ten Kobo to my office early this morning, I was surprised that he accepted to come, because we have been looking for him. When I saw the look of remorse on his face, I told him I will not arrest him for accepting to come by himself, but I asked him to write an undertaking that be would not engage in crime again.”