The Nigerian Army has revealed the total number of Boko Haram terrorists who have relinquished themselves to troops.
According to the Theatre Commander, Joint Task Force, “Operations Hadin Kai”, Maj.-Gen. Christopher Musa, so far no fewer than 17,000 former terrorists have surrendered and regretted their actions.
Naija News reports that Musa disclosed this on Friday in Maiduguri, Borno State capital during a courtesy call on the management of the North East Development Commission (NEDC).
While stating that the growing number of those surrendering as the military continue to profile them had warranted the need for the intervention of the NEDC in their maintenance, Musa said those that relinquished themselves comprised of combatants, non-combatants, those conscripted against their wish and family members.
The Army General asserted that the development was a positive one that has become a call for caution for members of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP), who according to him have started panicking as their hope to inherit Boko Haram fighters has boomeranged.
Musa said that the disturbed ISWAP group had even set up a task force to stop the trend of surrendering, adding that the way the surrendered are managed would ginger more still in the bush to come out.
He said: “From the Presidency, Minister of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, Service Chiefs, everyone is putting hands on deck to see that the menace is ended, and we have peace in the North East.
“We know that if we have peace in the northeast it will transcend to other regions,” Musa said.
Musa commended the intervention of the NEDC in areas of humanitarian and infrastructure support in the region.
He urged the body to extend its intervention to the military, particularly, in the rehabilitation of structures and roads to facilitate movement.
In his remark, the Managing Director of NEDC, Mr Mohammed Alkali, also praised the role of the military in restoring peace in the region, adding that the improvement in security in the northeast has enabled the commission to embark on various projects and other non-kinetic support in recovered areas.
Alkali who assured the military of continuous collaboration and support urged them to sustain the tempo at this critical time of closure of camps in Maiduguri and resettlement of displaced persons back to their ancestral homes.