By John Ikani
The number of Boko Haram terrorists who have surrendered to the Federal Government forces has now reached 17,000, says Maj. Gen. Christopher Musa, the Theatre Commander of the Joint Task Force “Operations Hadin Kai”.
Musa disclosed this on Friday during a courtesy visit to the management of the North East Development Commission (NEDC).
According to him, those surrendered comprised combatants, noncombatants, those conscripted against their wish and family members.
Musa noted that the development was a source of concern for members of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP), who had hoped to inherit Boko Haram fighters.
He said ISWAP had set up a task force to stop the trend of surrendering, adding that the way the surrendered are managed would encourage other terrorists to tread the same path.
“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,” Mr Musa said.
He lauded the intervention of the NEDC in areas of humanitarian and infrastructure support in the region and urged it to extend its intervention to the military, particularly, in the rehabilitation of structures and roads to facilitate movement.
Mohammed Alkali, the Managing Director of the commission, said the effective role of the military in restoring peace in the region has enabled the commission to embark on various projects in recovered areas.
Alkali assured the military of continuous collaboration, support, and urged them to sustain the tempo.