NIGERIAN Army commanders have told the remnants of terrorist sect Boko Haram to lay down their arms and surrender as they are now a spent force following the death of their leader Sheikh Abubakar Shekau.
Last month, Sheikh Shekau was killed after his base was surrounded by fighters from the rival Islamic State of West Africa Province (Iswap). To avoid capture, Sheikh Shekau blew himself up and since then, Iswap fighters have been mopping up Boko Haram camps across Borno State and the rest of northeast Nigeria.
Telling Boko Haram the game is up, Brigadier Abdulwahab Eyitayo, the general officer commanding the Seventh Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, said the recent military onslaught against the insurgents dealt a decisive blow on the terrorists leaving their remnants in disarray. Speaking in Maiduguri, he noted that nobody including the military was happy with the bloodshed, hence the need for the remnants of Boko Haram to leverage on the amnesty and repent.
According to General Eyitayo, this would allow them to enjoy the opportunities offered under rehabilitation and acquire skills to enable them to live useful lives in society. He lauded the contributions of the media in the counter-insurgency campaign and urged it to enlighten the insurgents to see the light and repent from their wasteful ventures.
General Eyitayo said: “We are not here for bloodletting, nobody is happy that people are dying. Some of them are listening to the media so it is good for us to appeal to them through the media to shun violence, turn up to seek forgiveness and reconciliation.
“For the past three months since I assumed duty in Maiduguri in this capacity, there has never been any bad report. This is to appreciate the media for positive reportage.”
Apart from the defeats Boko Haram has suffered at the hands of Iswap, the Nigerian Army has also carried out raids on its camps. Last week, the Nigerian Air Force successfully bombs a main Boko Haram base.