The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai has said over 700 Boko Haram insurgents have surrendered to troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in Borno State.
Gen. Buratai spoke yesterday at the Nigeria Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) and Photo/Art Exhibition in Abuja.
According to him, remnants of the insurgents surrendered following an intensive bombardment of their hideouts on the fringes of Sambisa Forest by the Army.
His words: “Just a short while ago, I received the good news that about 700 Boko Haram terrorists, in the fringes of the Sambisa forest, have surrendered.
It is a clear indication that the war on insurgency and terror is being won. I want to congratulate our gallant troops, Navy, Air force and Nigerians.
“The terrorists are surrendering because of concerted efforts of the military. They are in total disarray; they are hungry and are looking for a way out.”
Gen. Buratai described the exhibition as a true way of capturing facts on the ground, saying documented history acts as a bridge between the past and present for effective future planning.
“It is an effective way of allowing the populace relate with the feeling of truth.
“While we continue to fight for the unity of our country, while we continue to fight and defend territorial integrity, while we equally operate to maintain law and order in support of the civil authority, there is one very important aspect of the soldier’s life, and this is what we will be showing to you today.
“That is the artistic side of soldiering,” he said.
ead of Service of the Federation Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, who was the special guest of honour, noted that the role of the Army cannot be understated.
Mrs Oyo-Ita said the exhibition is an avenue to enlighten the public about the uniqueness of the Army, and make them appreciate their sacrifices,
The Army Spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, said 70 of the surrendered terrorists were being profiled.
According to him, preliminary investigation showed that among them were key commanders and influential members of the group.
“One of the insurgents match suspect number 225 on the terrorists’ most wanted list. The surrendered terrorists have been making useful statements and it is expected that many more will surrender,” Usman said.