The Nigerian army has revealed that 249 cleared suspected Boko Haram terrorists and accomplices had been released on the instructions of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Yusuf Tukur Buratai.
Each person was given a $10 (3,000 naira) stipend by the Borno State government.
‘‘Those cleared and released include 169 males, 46 women and 34 children. Further breakdown shows that 203 of them were from 18 Local Government Areas of Borno State, while 44 were from other States as follows; Adamawa 2, Jigawa 2, Lagos 1, Oyo 1 and Yobe 38. However, 2 of them were from the Republic of Cameroon,’‘ a statement on the army’s website read.
Those cleared and released include 169 males, 46 women and 34 children.
The Army handed them over to the Borno State government in a ceremony in the capital, Maiduguri. The Army noted that the two foreigners were handed over to the appropriate immigration authorities.
In his remarks, the local government official advised the released detainees to remain law abiding and go about their lawful businesses.
‘‘He also commended the effort of the military in the fight against terrorism and insurgency and respect for human rights as manifested in the painstaking efforts that led to their clearance and subsequent release,’‘ the army’s statement added.
The Army has been criticized by rights groups for their treatment of suspected Boko Haram detainees. They have however insisted that the army has at all times maintained high standards of professionalism in their dealings with suspects even terrorists.
The Nigerian Army is largely in charge of security in Borno State, where Boko Haram insurgents in the past hoisted their flags as part of establishing an Islamic caliphate.
The army has taken back all areas formerly held by the terrorists and has declared that they are in the latter stages of eliminating remnants of Boko Haram terrorists currently hiding in the Sambisa forest.
The humanitarian situation as has been reported in recent months is dire.