By Kingsley Nwezeh
In a move indicative of plans by terrorist organisations, Boko Haram and the Islamic State for West African Province (ISWAP) to surrender, fighters of the two groups dropped off 72 members of their families in Gamboru Ngala, Borno State.
This comes as troops decimated 61 insurgents in the last one week even as 280 repentant insurgents were released after undergoing a programme of deradicalisation.
Troops from Nigeria, Chad and Niger Republic have recently ramped up attacks on the terrorists in the North-east especially the Lake Chad area, killing hundreds of insurgents, forcing them to flee while others have surrendered.
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) said the terrorists under intense pressure from massive air and artillery bombardment, dropped off 72 members of their families in Ngala town in Gamboru Ngala Local Government Area of Borno State.
Speaking at a briefing in Abuja, the Coordinator, Directorate of Defence Media Operations (DDMO), Major General John Enenche, said the terrorists dropped off family members including 33 women and 39 children.
“On May 11, 2020, 11 ISWAP fighters surrendered to troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in Adamawa State. The repentant insurgents are being profiled for further action. This number of surrendered Boko Haram terrorists and ISWAP fighters is an indication of the heat of our operational activities on the terrorists due to the renewed impetus in the theatre to end the criminality.
“There are indications that more terrorists are willing to surrender. One of such moves, was the dropping off of 72 family members of Boko Haram and ISWAP fighters at the entrance of Ngala town in Ngala Local Government Area of Borno State on May 10, 2020 around 8.30p.m., comprising 33 women and 39 children. All of them are in custody of troops for further action,” he said.
Enenche said troops killed 18 terrorists and three suicide bombers within one week in Gwoza, Gamboru Ngala in Borno State and Firgi Mubi – Kamale Road in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State as well as Ngoshe near the Nigeria – Cameroon border.
On deradicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration of repentant terrorists, Major General Enenche said the programme conducted under Operation Safe Corridor had recorded tremendous success.
“So far, 280 clients have successfully undergone the programme and reintegrated into the society, 25 of this number were repatriated to Niger Republic. Presently, 603 clients are due to pass out in June 2020.
“Other fighters are hereby encouraged to come out of the bush/hideouts to surrender. The military high command is using this medium to request parents, traditional rulers, community, opinion and religious leaders to urge their wards and children not to succumb to inducements by the BHT/ISWAP for recruitment into their fold because the temporarily surviving terrorists are now in dire need of fighters”, he said.
The coordinator of the DDMO further stated: “I am to warmly state that, the high command of the Armed Forces of Nigeria congratulates the gallant troops for successes recorded and once more call on parents, traditional, opinion, community and religious leaders to advise their wards and subjects not to succumb to inducements by the terrorists, as the Armed Forces of Nigeria remains decisive to end the insurgency and other security challenges in the country.
“Furthermore, the high command wishes to thank the general public for their support and solicits for their cooperation towards providing credible and timely information that will facilitate proactive engagements in our operations”, he said.