Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The Nigerian military has said it is expecting more Boko Haram terrorists to lay down their arms and embrace peace within the next few weeks.
The military equally revealed that 132 members of the terrorist group voluntarily surrendered to the Nigerian troops after dropping their weapons in the last few weeks.
Parading before journalists, five of the 17 insurgents who surrendered at Kala Balge and Kumshe areas to the military in the last one week, the head of the military counter-insurgency operation in the Northeast (Theater Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole), Major General Rogers Nicholas, said within the last few weeks, about 132 Boko Haram terrorists voluntarily surrendered to the Nigerian armed forces in Bama, Monguno, Kala Balge, Damboa and Kumshe axis.
He also appealed to those that are still members of the group to come out from their hiding and surrender to the Nigerian military.
Nicholas asked that they should surrender their weapons to the nearest military camps and formations closer to them.
He promised that the Nigerian military windows are opened anytime for any member of the Boko Haram that is willing to lay down their arms and embrace peace.
Nicholas said there is no truth in the speculation making the round that Nigerian military is rather killing any member of the Islamic sect that lays down his arm, adding that the military has been applying the human rights laws by providing medical and welfare services to those who surrender.
The Theater Commander assured them that the military would continue its operations and its doors are opened to welcome any Boko Haram member who will surrender on his or her own to the security for medical treatment, rehabilitation, deradicalisation and reintegration while appealing for more terrorists to surrender to the military
One of the surrendered terrorists that spoke to journalists, Hassan Dahiru,Â Â said initially they were forcefully conscripted into the terrorist group but later realised that the activities of the group were not Islamic and against the religion of Islam by all ramifications.
Dahiru, who spoke for four others, said: â€œWe have highly regretted our actions, especially the killings andÂ Â destructions,â€ noting that what Boko Haram has been doing is cruel and inhumane actions against humanity.
He said: â€œThe only thing we want now is God to forgive us and give us peace and fresh start,â€ thanking God that the security agencies and PresidentÂ Â Muhammadu Buhari have given them the window to willingly surrender with assurances that they are now enjoying.