About 1500 former commanders of the terror group, Boko Haram, and their families have surrendered to the Nigerian military at different locations in Nigeria − hundreds have equally done the same in Cameroon.
A video clip shared by PRNigeria showed a procession of people, consisting of women and children from dense vegetation as they proceeded to surrender to troops at Mafa, in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria.
Adamu Rugurugu, a former top commander and some other commanders of the terrorist groups, including their family members, have so far surrendered to the Nigerian military at various designated locations in the State.
HumAngle understands that a few more terrorists surrendered with their families at Bama, Mafa, and Gwoza axis of Borno over the weekend.
The Nigeria Army had recently sponsored massive campaign jingles in both Kanuri and Hausa languages on local radio stations in recent times to encourage many insurgents to quit terrorism and lay down their arms.
According to the report, a source in the military further disclosed that the terrorists were vacating their camps and surrendering to the army due to aggressive advocacy by various Islamic scholars and their family members.
“We are expecting about 2,000 more from the Lake Chad axis … Most of them were either forcefully conscripted or brainwashed into joining the terrorists. They have also surrendered a lot of weapons and are cooperating with our team in designated locations,” the source told PR Nigeria.
The flooded plains and mud characterised by the rainy season has delayed these desperate journeys, HumAngle learnt.
HumAngle has reported the conduct of the Nigerian military as an important factor in the new wave of defections, an argument that close watchers are sceptical about. “I think it is more of the rivalry between ISWAP and Boko Haram,” said a source.
Whether or not the spate of defections is driven by the Nigerian military or internal dynamics within the groups, “Nigeria is the biggest winner in all of this,” said a top military official in Abuja.
Babagana Zulum, Governor of the state, lamented that the ongoing surrender of Boko Haram fighters had left the state with two extremely difficult situations as victims of insurgency are facing a dilemma on whether or not to accept repentant insurgents.
“We in Borno, are in a very difficult situation over the ongoing surrender by insurgents. We have to critically look between two extreme conditions and decide our future,” Zulum said.
“We have to choose between endless wars or to cautiously accept the surrendered terrorists, which is painful and difficult for anyone that has lost loved ones, difficult for all of us and even for the military whose colleagues have died and for volunteers.”
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