More Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in Borno State have surrendered their arms and embraced amnesty.
According to a statement signed by Brigadier General, Director Army Public Relations, Onyema Nwachukwu, on Monday, the development which occurred on Saturday follows the recent escalation of offensive operations coupled with non-kinetic efforts by Nigerian Army troops of the operation HADIN KAI (OPHK).
Chief Bomb Expert of the terrorist group known as Musa Adamu a.k.a Mala Musa Abuja and his second in command, Usman Adamu a.k.a Abu Darda along with their families and followers, all totalling 335 fighters, 746 adult women and children including one of the abducted Chibok girls were among those who surrendered to the troops in Bama Local Government Area of the state.
They were seen carrying placards, kicking against terrorism and appealing to Nigerians to forgive them.
The acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division and Commander Sector 1 OPHK Brigadier General Abdulwahab Adelokun Eyitayo, was also present at the Headquarters 21 Special Armoured Brigade Bama on Saturday to receive them.
He commended their decision to drop their arms and urged them to also encourage their brothers and colleagues in the forests to come out and embrace the new life of peace and rehabilitation.
General Eyitayo who spoke through an interpreter further said they will undergo some rehabilitation at a government facility before their reintegration into the larger society.
In the meantime, new clothes, food items, groceries, and toiletries were distributed to them.
With banditry now on the increase, the Nigerian military has resolved to intensify both its kinetic and non-kinetic approach towards the ongoing fight against insurgency and particularly leverage the knowledge of Musa Adamu and Usman Adamu to achieve both short and long-term counter-insurgency gains in the North East.
The subject of amnesty has been met with controversy as many believe that granting pardons to the insurgents could compromise the country’s security architecture.
One of those who has been vocal against the idea is Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Ali Ndume.
He believes the provision of blanket amnesty to insurgents has the tendency to breed new forms of criminality in the country.
“I don’t think blanket amnesty is the solution because if you do that, another form of criminality may emerge (with insurgents) hoping that the government will bring them to the negotiating table,” he said when he made an appearance on Channels TV’s Politics Today in February.
Senator Ndume said the government must strive to get to the root of the situation to ascertain what the true cause of the banditry problem is.