The Nigerian Army has marked Nigeria’s 56th Independence Day celebration by handing over 348 suspected members of the Boko Haram Islamist terrorists to the Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima.
This has come in the wake of the final phase of the Army’s clampdown on insurgents tagged “Operation Gama Aiki” that has seen Nigerian troops engage the terrorists in bloody battles in the northeast.
According to the General Officer Commanding 7 division Nigerian Army, Major General Victor Ezugwu, this was the fifth handing over of cleared suspected terrorists following counter-insurgency operations in the northeast, Daily Post reports.
“The process ensures that those captured while participating actively or passively in creating sorrow and mayhem in the society are screened out for necessary judicial recourse.
“The cleared suspects are made up of 114 male, 107 female, 127 children and 115 under aged (5-10 years old, while 12 are 11 years and above.
“I am therefore here today to once again enforce the magnanimity of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) by presenting the cleared suspects to His Excellency, Governor of Borno state, Hon. Kashim Shettima for rehabilitation and reintegration back into their respective LGAs,” he said.
Maj. Gen Ezugwu added that suspects who were not released would be handed over to the Nigeria Police and Department of State Services for further action.
“Amongst them are 6 foreigners who illegally entered Nigeria. They consist of 4 Cameroonian, 1 Chadian and 1 Jamaican. These foreigners would be handed over to the Nigerian Immigration Service for deportation.”
Earlier today, President Muhammadu Buhari reiterated his administration’s resolve to rid the country of the threat of militants and insurgents, while promising an end to the present recession biting the populace.