No fewer than 240 Boko Haram fighters have voluntarily surrendered to the Nigerian Army after they came under intense fire from troops, authorities said Monday.
“The firepower of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) ground troops and joint Air operation during the Operation GAMA AIKI forced a massive defection of remnants of the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT),” the Chief Military Public Information Officer, Muhammad Dole, said in a statement.
“Sustained offensive operations and blockage of logistics supply routes made the terrorists’ locations untenable; as a result, BHT and their families abandoned their locations and surrendered with their arms to the nearest locations of the ground forces in the operation areas.”
Mr. Dole, a colonel, said the mass defection took place in Bagasola town, in neighbouring Chad, considered by troops as Sector 2 Area of Responsibility (AOR).
The statement added, “A total of Two Hundred and Forty (240) Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) surrendered some of them with arms and ammunition. They are being profiled and camped in Bagasola. During his operational visit to Sector 2 AOR, the Commander MNJTF, Major General Lamidi Adeosun addressed the ex -BHT and their families.
“The Commander commended the leaders of the ex- BHT for their courage and taking the right decision to abandoned terrorism and insurgency for normal life. He assured them of safety and good care as long as they remain in the camps. He also urged them to encourage their colleagues in the bush to stop fighting and join them in the camps.
“This peaceful disarming and profiling of the ex-BHT by the MNJTF forces, clearly demonstrated extent of professionalism and adherence to International Humanitarian Laws and Laws of Armed Conflict in combat operations” he added. The Commander MNJTF donated token cash for purchase of two cows and 10 bags of assorted food stuff for each of the 2 groups for the welfare and up keep of the ex-BHT and their families.