Over 8,000 Boko Haram fighters, family members have surrendered – GOC
The Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Brig General Abdulwahab Eyitayo has disclosed that the military has so far received, profiled and processed over 8,000 Boko Haram Commanders, fighters and their family members since their unprecedented mass surrendering to troops began in June, 2021.
Gen Eyitayo made this known in his remarks during the demonstration of Legion MRAP and Counter Ambush Drill organized by the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri on Tuesday which was witnessed by Defence correspondents.
He said there is no ambiguity concerning the intent of those surrendering as some people are insinuating.
“The genuineness of their intention to surrender are not in doubt considering that they turned in their families as well. There was no way they could have come out with their families if the intention was suspect”.
He added that in spite of everything, the military is not leaving anything to chance and that proper profiling of those who surrendered are being conducted to separate them based on their extent of involvement in the killings and destructions that took place in the region.
According to him, there is still time for the recalcitrant ones to surrender but the opportunity will soon be closed after which the military will embark on full onslaught to clear them. He attributed the massive surrendering of the terrorists to the intensive air and ground bombardment of their enclaves and blocking of food and other logistics to their camps by the troops.
The GOC maintained that what the Army is doing in accepting the surrender of the fighters is in line with extant dictates of law of armed conflicts and Geneva Conventions which Nigeria is a signatory to. “We are not doing what we are doing in order to pamper the surrendered fighters; far from it. We are known for our ruggedness and doggedness; 7 Division is the fighting Division of the Nigerian Army and we are not relenting”.
The Legion MRAP which the Army has inducted into the anti-terror war is a full-package armored vehicle that has a proven battle record with about 500 units in service around the world. The demonstration witnessed by journalist was a reenactment of how troops can overpower, kill and recover weapons of adversaries who ambushed them.