Defence Minister: Over 12,000 Boko Haram Hostages Freed So Far


Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

The Minister of Defence, Brig-General Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd,) thursday disclosed that the federal government has so far freed over 12,000 persons held hostage by the Boko Haram insurgents.

The minister disclosed this in a keynote address at a two-day retreat holding at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, near Jos, Plateau State.

The theme of the retreat is: ‘Enhancing Civil-Military Relations: A Panacea for Promoting Security and National Development.’

He said: “More than 12,000 Boko Haram captives have been freed; this figure includes the 106 Chibok girls that were abducted in 2014. We need to do more to consolidate on the efforts to sustain the peace and security currently enjoyed in the country.

“For more to be achieved, the military and civilian components of the ministry must work hard together, understand each other, and have mutual respect and trust for each other.”

Dan-Ali added that the combined efforts of members of the armed forces have successfully degraded the insurgents, making it difficult for members to re-group and carry out any organised attack.

Also speaking, the state Governor, Simon Lalong, described the retreat targeted at enhancing civil-military relationship, as apt and of great significance, noting that Plateau has benefited from collaborations between the military and civilians in ensuring quick resolution of internal conflicts.

Warning the military, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogora, noted that power was not in the barrel of the gun but in the contents of the heart.

He added: “Holding the guns and ranks should not give anyone a sense of superiority over members of the society; it should be a humbling factor, and should therefore be managed with a great sense of responsibility.”
Dogara also however warned the civilians to respect constituted authorities and embrace regular dialogue on matters of national importance.