Chris Steven, Abuja
The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has eulogized the Nigerian Army over the recent surrender of Boko Haram top commanders in Borno State.
The centre noted that the recent feat was a clear indication that the military has truly won the battle of the insurgency in north eastern part of the country.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai on Monday revealed that about 700 Boko Haram insurgents around the fringes of Sambisa Forest in Borno, have surrendered.
“A short while ago, I received the good news that about 700 Boko Haram terrorists within the fringes of Sambisa Forest have surrendered.
“Some others are in the process to surrender, this is a clear indication that the Boko Haram war is clearly being won,” the army chief had said.
Reacting to the development at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, Joyce Adamu, CESJET’s Executive Director, said the organisation was happy with the progress recorded so far in its war against terrorism in the volatile north eastern Nigeria.
“We have always reposed an untainted confidence in the Nigerian Army to defeat Boko Haram terrorism completely on our land and this is the turning in that history.
“We echoed loudly after soldiers dismantled Sambisa forest in December 2016 that terrorism in Nigeria has ended. But many of our compatriots doubted us, especially as terrorist bombs still intermittently detonated in parts of Maiduguri, Borno state.
“But we were precise that the counter-insurgency war has reached a stage where the sounds of guns or marching boots of soldiers would soon pave way to less combativeness in ending the terror war.
That terrorists could no longer withstand the sheer force of the army, pleaded for armistice and en masse surrendered to troops of 26 Task Force Brigade, Nigerian Army, Operation LAFIYA DOLE on the fringes of the Sambisa forest is a worthy accomplishment. Coming out in that amazing number to renounce terrorism is Nigeria’s ultimate and strategic victory in the anti-terrorism and counter-insurgency war.
“Of particular importance to us is the commitment of terrorists to the pledge of armistice as according to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai, 70 of such Boko Haram insurgency including top commanders and terrorists on the Army’s list of most wanted terrorists have turned themselves to the Nigeria Army and are being profiled. The number is expected to swell in the coming days until the target is exhausted,” she said.
Adamu added that the surrendering of that huge number of terrorists attests to the effectiveness of the soldiers mop-up operations in the Northeast, hence terrorists could no longer find convenient hiding places.
She noted that, “it is indication of our military’s superiority over the insurgents and it is express illustration of the penchant of the Nigerian Army under General Buratai in keeping with its promise to uphold and respect the human rights of all actors in the counter-insurgency war.
“Again without any doubt, those of us who have keenly and painstakingly followed the counter-insurgency war in the Northeast can certify that the Nigerian Army had never at any point in time relaxed in the war against insurgency in Nigeria.
“It has always lived up to expectations and the netting of 700 Boko Haram surrendees is just icing of the cake. Even in April 2017, a terrorists kingpin Bulama Kailani Mohammed Metele, affiliated to the Mamman Nur’s faction of Boko Haram led by Abu, let himself off terrorism hook when the heat became unbearable by surrendering to troops of the 145 Task Force Battalion, 5 Brigade at Damasak. He was also on Nigerian Army’s list of most wanted terrorists.”
She further stressed the singular act has put to shame the ignominious campaigns’ of vested external interest in the destabilization of Nigeria and the blind accusations of the Nigerian military of betraying the people in the counter-insurgency war through unwholesome acts.