Military Intensifies Counter-terrorism Operation In Sambisa Forest

rescued women and children from boko haramCounter-insurgency operations are ongoing in the notorious Sambisa Forest in northeast Nigeria, to clear remaining Boko Haram terrorists in the area, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, said on Sunday.

He says the army is not relenting in its counter-insurgency war.

General Olonisakin gave the assurance during an operational visit to the Theatre Command and headquarters of the Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri, Borno State.

The Chief of Defence Staff told journalists in Maiduguri that even though the “Operation Safe Corridor” initiative was open for repentant insurgents to surrender, it would not in any way suspend operations.

“There’s always a room for them to surrender. We put up Operation Safe Corridor initiative to have them surrender. That is the corridor for them to surrender and that corridor is always open.

“However, we would not wait until they surrender. That is why the “Operation Crack Down” now leading to rescue finale is in place to ensure that we take over Sambisa, clear the Boko Haram terrorists in those places and make the place safe for development,” the Defence Chief stated.

During the visit, he inspected vehicles reconfigured by military technicians in the seven Division to give a boost to the counter insurgency operations.

Gun trucks, Operational vehicles and War battle tanks were some the vehicles remodelled by the transport battalion and now set for use.

Expressing delight with the military equipment, he said: “I commend the creative efforts of our troops because most of this vehicles have been re-roled. They were not manufactured for what they are doing but they have re-roled them for operational use.

“I want to commend their efforts and also the initiative of the Chief of Air Staff to encourage this troops to do this in the prosecution of this operation.

“These vehicles are quite important and necessary to get some of them out there. They are quite expensive but the ones here that have been reconfigured to do the same which would have been procured at a very expensive rate is really a commendable effort,” he added.

More efforts to flush out the terrorists are needed in the northeast, something a cleric said should be considered paramount to ensure that Internally Displaced Persons returning to their communities do not face renewed attacks.

The Primate of the Anglican Communion in Nigeria, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh on Sunday called for more efforts from the Nigerian Army in protecting Nigerians living in the volatile north east.

Most Reverend Okoh believes that such intensity in checking the activities of the Boko Haram in the region would quench renewed attacks by the terrorist group.

Over two million persons have been displaced in the region, with UN agencies raising fears of death of children, nursing mothers and pregnant women due to malnutrition.

Military Begins Rehabilitation Of Repentant Insurgents

Military, Insurgents, Boko Haram MilitantsThe Military has begun the process of reintegrating repentant members of the Boko Haram sect into the society.

The rehabilitation is part of the ongoing efforts by the Federal Government to rebuild Nigeria’s Northeast region, following terrorists’ attacks that have caused devastating damage in the region.

The National Security Council has mandated the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, to receive the repentant terrorists with a view to rehabilitating them.

The Director of Production, Defence Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Emmanuel Anebi, who represented General Olonisakin, received various items for usage in the camp situated in Gombe, northeast Nigeria.

He said the programme, Operation Safe Corridor, was designed to receive surrendering Boko Haram members and take them through a process that would reintegrate them back to the society.

The Chairman of Operation Safe Corridor, Brigadier General Bamidele Shafa and the Executive Secretary of NHRC, Professor Bem Angwe, hinted that series of programmes have been earmarked for the process.

They reeled out different vocations and skill acquisition programmes to be held on camp towards reintegrating the repentant combatants into the society.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said that it has contributed its quota to the programme to make the camp conducive for the repentant militants.

Director General of NEMA, Mr Sani Sidi, disclosed that the agency has donated several items ranging from food and edibles to bedding materials as well as resource persons and camp officials required to carter for them.

The repentant terrorists now have a chance to begin normal life again, even as the military is currently conducting mop-up operations to clear the remnants of the terrorists.

DHQ Denies Granting Amnesty To Boko Haram Members

Rabe Abubakar
Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar.

The Defence Headquarters had denied online reports that 800 Boko Haram members have been granted amnesty.

A statement by the Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar, said “the story is false and has no iota of truth in it”, adding that the “DHQ has never mentioned Amnesty in all its statements”.

The DHQ also called on the public to disregard it, stressing that it would not condone acts of terrorism or criminality by any group.

According to the DHQ, the decision to rehabilitate repentant members of Boko Haram is based on a United Nations convention, which Nigeria is a signatory.

“The Defence Headquarters came up with an initiative Öperation Safe Corridor”, this initiative is geared towards rehabilitating and reintegrating the repentant terrorists back into normal life in the society.

“Therefore, the general public should disregard these insinuations as the initiative “Operation Safe Corridor” should not be taken as Amnesty.”

“We hereby emphasise and stand our position that no act of terrorism or criminality will be condoned in our nation by any group”, the statement said.