Richard Ginika Izuora
The Nigerian Army has dismissed media reports that it is set to release two rehabilitated top Boko Haram bomb makers into the society.
The Army said it is acting professionally and would not support extrajudicial execution but that surrendered terrorists would be properly processed and then handed over to relevant authorities for further actions.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement on Tuesday, August 10, said that the authors deliberately misrepresented the facts in the publications.
Nwachukwu said that the army had deemed it necessary to put issues in their right perspectives in as much as it would not want to be distracted from its main focus of dealing decisively with the threats against peace-loving Nigerians.
According to him, it is a known fact that in the recent past, more than 1,000 members of Boko Haram and their families have surrendered to the troops due to the intense pressure from their (troops) sustained offensive actions.
“Among those were key leaders of the terrorist group who have renounced their membership; and have also turned themselves in,” he said.
Nwachukwu said that the army, being a professional military organisation; would continue to act in accordance with the dictates of Nigeria’s constitution as well as international best practices.
He added that the institution would never encourage any act of lawlessness or extrajudicial killings.
According to him, all the surrendered terrorists will be received, processed, and passed on to relevant agencies of government; for further assessment, in line with extant provisions.
The army spokesman explained that the ongoing Operation Safe Corridor was established by the federal government; and not the Nigerian army, adding that it was absolutely wrong to say that army would free repentant terrorists.
“The Nigerian army, therefore, appeals to the public to disregard the deliberate distortion of facts; by these online media and continue to support the it to rid the country of terrorism and other forms of insecurity.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya has reiterated his admonition to all terrorist groups operating in the country; to abandon their illegitimate cause and surrender to the troops,” he said.