16 persons, suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect and Islamic State, West Africa Province have surrendered themselves, along with eight of their wives, to army troops at Fotokol in Borno State.
This followed consistent raids, clearance patrols, sting operations, cordon and search operations as well as mortar and artillery bombardment of identified insurgents and bandits’ hideouts in the northern parts of the country within the past one week.
The coordinator of the Nigerian Army Operations (Media), Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, made the disclosure in a statement made available to Saturday, on Friday.
Stating several other suspected terrorists were neutralised in the operations, the army media coordinator further said several Boko Haram logistics suppliers and informants were also intercepted and arrested by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.
“On 1 November 2019 for instance, 16 insurgents along, with eight of their spouses who could no longer bear the heat from the onslaught against them surrendered to the relentless troops of Sector 1, Multinational Joint Task Force at Fotokol.
“Subsequently, the surrendered insurgents were later handed over to troops of 3 Battalion (Main) at Gamboru Ngala, a border town north-east of Borno State.
“During preliminary interrogation and profiling, they confessed to have actively participated in attacks conducted against both military and civilian targets at various times,” the statement read.
Colonel Aminu listed the names of 14 of the suspects as Ibrahim Bunu, Abba Sale, Baba Lamba Alhaji, Bukar Isa, Bukar Ali, Rawa Abba Gana, Mustapha Abatcha, Umar Abubakar, Hassan Bukar, Malam Abatcha Ali, Abba Umar Abatcha, Hussaini Babagana, Idris Mohammed and Umar Abba Bayoma.
He said the 14 suspects were members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), led by Al-Barnawi, while the remaining two, Hassan Kawu and Babagana Bukar Adijabe, belonged to Boko Haram (the Abubakar Shekau faction).
“The repentant insurgents, however, regretted their participation in the heinous crimes they committed against humanity and are now calling on their former colleagues to retrace their steps and also surrender to troops before it is too late,” he said.
In a related development, troops deployed at Gajigana in Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno State intercepted some Boko Haram criminals in the early hours of Tuesday.
“It was believed that the insurgents were on their way to attack the community to source for food items and other logistics for their survival.
“However, the vigilant troops blocked and neutralised three of the Boko Haram criminals while several others escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds.
“Unfortunately, one soldier paid the supreme price while two others were wounded in action. The wounded soldiers are currently responding to treatment in a medical facility,” he said.
He further said two AK 47 rifles, one Rocket Propelled Gun 7 (RPG 7), five AK 47 magazines, 47 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and some quantities of hard drugs were recovered during the operations.
He also mentioned some other successful military operations against suspected criminals in other parts of the country, including the Niger Delta region.