Maj-Gen Rogers Nicholas, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya
Dole has called on persons in Boko Haram captivities to “surrender and submit” to military troops operating in Sambisa Forest of Borno state to end the war.
Nicholas made the call at the weekend, while handing over 84 rescued people from Boko Haram to Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Head of Rescue Operations, Bello Danbatta at Military Command and Control Centre, Maiduguri.
According to him, this is the last phase of the operation for people still in captivity to surrender to troops in the front lines of
Sambisa Forest. His words: “We are asking everybody in Borno State to give cooperation in terms of giving information about fleeing Boko Haram members. Their
spiritual and operational bases in the forest have been re-captured by our ground and aerial troops. “People need to be vigilant in their localities, if you see any suspected persons, report to the military or any of the security agencies.”
He continued: “As I address you now many of them have surrendered and many more will surrender to our troops. The most important thing is that we are treating this people very humane because they are Nigerians.
He said that the Army is not killing people and receiving them with dignity, as they are citizens of the nation.
“We are trying to rescue them and that is why we are in this military operation. The narratives of Boko Haram that we are going to kill the surrendered insurgents are not true. It is part of Boko Haram tactics of changing acts of terror and campaigns against the people in captivities,” said Nicholas.
He explained that the rescued persons including women, children and the aged would undergo medical examinations, rehabilitation and de-radicalization process.
Danbatta commended the military over the rescue of the civilians from Boko Haram captivity.
He said the agency would assist the rescue persons and reunite them with their families.
Some of the rescued persons expressed joy over their freedom from many years of slavery in the hands of the insurgents.
Narrating her ordeals, a teenage girl (name withheld) said she was forced to marry four times during her four-year stay with insurgents in camps.
Her words: “We have no food and water to take in forest camp. Many people including women, children died in the camps due to starvation.
“I was abducted from my village in first quarter of 2013. I suffered various form of inhuman treatment in the camp; but I am now freed by the military and happy to be re-united with my family. They are taking good care of us, since we left the forest camp