90 Percent of Die-hard Boko Haram Fighters Dead, Govt Declares
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Borno State Government, yesterday, said 90 per cent of die-hard Boko Haram insurgents were dead just as it attributed the mass surrender of members of the sect to the death of their leader, Ibrahim Shakau, as well as the operations of the military.
This is as the military authorities, yesterday, also said some 1,952 terror suspects were undergoing investigation in the North-east, while some 900 suspects were to go on trial next January.
It further clarified that, contrary to insinuations of abortion of pregnancies of female terror suspects impregnated by insurgents, the military was not aware of such development, having received escaping female suspects, subjected them to screening, medical treatment and aided deliveries of babies, who were alive and healthy and under the care of the military.
But taking journalists round the Hajj Camp in Maiduguri, which housed 14,804 repentant insurgents and families, Special Adviser on Security to the Borno State government, Brig.Gen Abdulrasaq Ishaq (rtd), said about 90 per cent of die-hard Boko Haram insurgents had died.
He equally explained that of the number housed in the three camps, married males were 3,472, single males 1,773, spouses, 4,438, male children, 2,691 and female children 2,497, noting that 5000 fighters and their families were living in the three camps as well.
On his part, the Theatre Commander, Operation Hadin Kai, Maj Gen Christopher Musa, while speaking in Maiduguri, said 82,237 insurgents and their families had surrendered so far, out of which 16,577 were active male fighters, 52,44 men, women and 96 children.
He stated that of the 276 kidnapped Chibok girls, 57 escaped, 117 were released while 11 were rescued this year.
Eleven of the Chibok girls, who recently escaped captivity now have 25 children, adding that, in all, 180 girls were out of captivity while 96 remained in captivity.
Addressing newsmen too at the Joint Investigation Center, Operation Hadin Kai, Captain Adeniyi Oluwagbenga, said 1,952 combatants were in detention, including 23 females and 11 children.
He affirmed that 900 Boko Haram members would go on trial in Niger State while 323 were sent to Operation Safe Corridor in Gombe State for rehabilitation.
He further explained that the trial of the suspects was moved to Niger State following the difficulty in accessing witnesses while some lawyers refused to go to Maiduguri for the trial.
“Most suspects are awaiting prosecution. The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), has assured that by January, more than 900 of them will be moved to Niger State for prosecution. Some lawyers refused to come to Maiduguri for trial hence it can’t be held in Maiduguri,” he said.
In a separate interview, the Borno State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Zoyara Gambo, said the 11 Chibok Girls, who recently escaped captivity had 25 children, adding that government was already taking care of the young mothers.
In a chat with some of them, the young mothers expressed their desire to return to school like some of their colleagues.
“We want to go back to school like others. We are not happy,” they said.