About 700 members of the deadly terrorist sect Boko Haram have surrendered to the Nigerian Army in Borno State, the northeastern part of Nigeria.
The Director of Defence Information, Rabe Abubakar, has said that more than 700 repentant Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East have surrendered to the military. Abubakar, a brigadier general, said this when he paid a courtesy call on the managing director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Bayo Onanuga, in Abuja on Thursday. According to him, a camp will be opened where the repentant insurgents will be kept “before the government decides on what to do with them”.
Since 2009, Boko Haram has been waging a brutal war against Nigeria in a bid to establish an Islamic caliphate and over the last year has enjoyed substantial success on the battlefield. It scored military success, making sweeping gains across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States, capturing 13 local government areas.
Alarmed by the raging success of the terrorists, Nigeria, Niger Republic, Chad and Cameroon decided to form the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) that would enable to cooperate militarily. Over the last week, the MNJTF has enjoyed significant success, particularly with the arrival of battle-hardened Chadian troops who over the weekend reclaimed the town of Gamboru-Ngala near the Chad border with Nigeria.
In a further setback for Boko Haram, Nigerian troops were able to repel two spirited attacks on the Borno State capital Maiduguri, killing as many as 500 terrorists and seizing a large cache of weapons. Rather surprisingly, a British-made Vickers tank was among the armour seized, as were artillery guns, scores of pick-up trucks, anti-aircraft guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
Around 15 months ago it was reported that Nigerian military sources believe the end is nigh now with Boko Haram surrounded and cornered into a small pocket of Borno State. According to unconfirmed military reports, about 4,000 of the terrorists are negotiating a surrender with the Nigerian authorities
Also around 5 months ago, Military officers and a self-defense fighter have reported that dozens of emaciated Boko Haram fighters begging for food have surrendered to Nigerian soldiers in the north-east of the country. A senior army officer, who spoke anonymously as serving soldiers are banned from speaking to journalists, said 76 Boko Haram supporters, including their children and women, surrendered to the army over the last weekend.
The starving terrorists and their supporters gave themselves up in Gwoza, a small local government area around 100km from Borno State’s capital Maiduguri.
Gwoza was the site of a horrific massacre in 2014 when Boko Haram terrorists dressed up as Nigerian soldiers and slaughtered 200 mostly Christian civilians.
All of the jihadists have been detained at the Nigerian army’s regional headquarters in Maiduguri, also the birthplace of Boko Haram.
The emaciated terrorists said more of their comrades want to surrender
A self-defense civilian fighter serving with the Civilian Joint Task Force who escorted the detainees says they said many more terrorists want to surrender but are afraid to do so, fearful of their comrades’ retribution.
Shortages of food could indicate that Nigeria’s military is succeeding in cutting off the supply routes of the Islamic extremists who have taken their fight across Nigeria’s borders.
Obviously shortage of food supplies have dealt a major blow to the sect and intensifying efforts on cutting the food supply should be a strategy that needs to be enhanced.
The defence spokesman said the media had a very important role to play in mitigating the crisis befalling the country. He, therefore, called for cooperation between the media and the military in mobilising and informing the citizenry about the crisis.
“We have come to understand that the military cannot do it all alone. It must enter into collaborative efforts and synergy in certain operations with the media, which we believe will go a long way to not just project our activities or operations, but at the same time play a role which nobody can do apart from you.”