The Nigerian military on Monday said it paraded 26 suspected Boko Haram members, who recently surrendered to troops of the ongoing Operation Deep Punch II in Sambisa forest.
The army also said the ex-Boko Haram combatants surrendered their weapons to the troops in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State.
Onyema Nwachukwu, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Operation Lafiya Dole, said this in a statement in Maiduguri.
“Following ongoing onslaught by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole conducting Operations Deep Punch 2 in the Sambisa forest, additional 26 insurgents have surrendered to troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.
”The insurgents who surrendered from the Damboa general area of southern Borno also submitted their weapons to the troops,” Mr. Nwachukwu, a colonel, said.
Parading the suspects to journalists, the Theatre Commander, Rogers Nicholas, the statement noted, told the terrorists that all Nigerians were delighted to witness their “penitence and abandonment of Boko Haram’s hypocritical ideology and futile struggle.”
According to the statement, Mr. Nicholas, a major general, was quoted as assuring the insurgents of adequate safety and subsequent participation in the federal government’s deradicalisation and rehabilitation programme under the auspices of “Operation Safe Corridor.”
He said no insurgent who surrenders will be harmed by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.
Mr. Nicholas further urged the terrorists to call on their contemporaries who are still putting up resistance and fleeing, to reject Boko Haram hypocritical leaders and surrender to troops nearest to their locations.
The statement also noted that a large faction of Boko Haram terrorists sects have been decimated by the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.
“Some of the surrendered insurgents who interacted with members of the press disclosed that the ranks of the Boko Haram insurgents have been severely depleted and fatigued, hence the resort to abandoning the struggle and surrendering,” the statement said.
“They also called on their comrades to turn in themselves to troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE assuring that no harm will be done to them if they surrender voluntarily,” Mr. Nicholas reportedly said.
“The Theatre Commander enjoined members of the press to as a matter of necessity use their various media to counter Boko Haram ideological narratives and indoctrination.”