The Nigerian Army says twenty-six Boko Haram fighters have surrendered to troops of the ongoing operation Deep Punch 2 in the Sambisa forest.
An official army statement said the former combatants submitted their weapons to troops in the Damboa area located in southern Borno State – birth place of the Boko Haram insurgency.
The theater commander of the ‘Lafiya Dole’ – the general anti-insurgency operation, Major General Rogers Nicholas addressing the press after parading the ‘defectors’ said his men will continue to accept such actions.
He said the army will continue and pass former fighters through the deradicalization and rehabilitation program known as Operation Safe Corridor.
A number of the surrendered fighters confirmed to pressmen that the ranks of the insurgents have weakened considerably hence their decision to surrender and to see reintegration into the Nigerian society.
“They also called on their comrades to turn in themselves to troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE assuring that no harm will be done to them if they surrender voluntarily.
“The Theater Commander enjoined members of the press to as a matter of necessity use their various media to counter Boko Haram ideological narratives and indoctrination,” the army statement further stressed.
The Boko Haram insurgency had until 2015 ravaged most parts of Borno State where the group were in control of some local government areas. It has led to deaths of thousands and created a displacement crisis across the Lake Chad region.
Since the assuption of office by incumbent Muhammadu Buhari, the army has waged a sustained combat on the group announcing major successes like taking over their headquarters ‘Camp Zairo’ in the Sambisa forest.
The group now deploys attacks on soft targets restricted to Borno State. Humanitarian camps, mosques and markets continue to be hit by suicide bomb attacks that have often claimed lives and destroyed property. The army insists it has defeated the group.