Nigerian military frees 128 suspected Boko Haram members in Borno
Military handing over rescued victims to Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima
The Nigerian Army said Wednesday it had freed 128 suspected Boko Haram members arrested in different locations of Borno State.
In Borno state, which is at the centre of the insurgency, the government released 128 suspected Boko Haram members after they were screened and adjudged to be no further threat.
Also in Damaturu, capital of Yobe State, another Boko Haram hotbed, 16 suspected militants captured from around the region were paraded through a military base on Wednesday.
According to Colonel Dahiru Bako, an acting commander, some of the the detainees were suspected of carrying out attacks while others were distributing supplies for the group.
The military had earlier on Tuesday announced the seizure of items from detained suspects that included food, cannabis, cigarettes, fuels and fertilizers that can be used to make improvised explosive devices.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai handed over the freed detainees to Gov. Kashim Shettima at a ceremony in Maiduguri.
Burutai said that the detainees included 109 men, seven women, 11 boys and one unattached teenager, who were arrested at different parts of the state by the military in its anti-terrorism campaign.
According to the Army chief, after thorough screening by a team of military intelligence officers, the police and the Department of State Security Service (DSS), the suspects were found to be clean and were released.
He said, “The task of Operation Lafiya Dole can be seen in three terms – to defeat the insurgents, to facilitate humanitarian activities and observe human right and restore the administrative functions in the liberated area.
“We are here to formally hand over those arrested in the process of our operations; we are pleased to hand over the 128 suspects that have been cleared by the joint intelligent core, which comprised the Army, the police and DSS.”
The COAS said that the action was an indication that the military was made up of highly trained officers, who believed in observing human right.
“This is clear manifestation that the army is clearly professional,” Buratai declared and expressed optimism that the Boko Haram terrorism would soon come to an end.
“We will continue to emphasis that this terrorism will soon come to an end.
Gen. Buratai said the President was giving them more support by supplying them with more equipment and more troops deployed to various parts of the North-East, so as to end the insurgency within the stipulated time given by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Gov Shettima, while addressing the 128 freed Boko Haram suspects, charged them to desist from engaging in unlawful activities He urged them to embark on legitimate business to sustain their livelihood and be fully integrated into the society as good citizens of the country.
He said, “Through the magnanimity and professionalism of the Nigerian Army, you have been released and will be fully integrated into the society. You should abstain yourselves from criminal activities, as the government is ready to empower you so that you will be good citizens that can bring development to the society.”
Boko Haram’s six-year insurgency to establish a strict version of Islamic law in Nigeria has left thousands of people dead and its cross-border attacks have drawn Cameroon, Niger and Chad into a regional military campaign.