By Tunde Adetunji, Abuja
The Nigerian Army is claiming embattled terrorists have downed weapons and are surrendering, even as suicide bombings, especially in the university city of Maiduguri, Borno State, has spiked in recent weeks.
The bombings have in the past been attributed to the desperate actions of a falling rag-tag army.
There have also been calls for proof of surrender, in the face of analysts positions that claims of subduing the insurgent group don’t match the situation on ground.
None other than the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai announced the latest gale of surrender Monday when he announced that over 700 Boko Haram terrorists gave in to troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in Borno State.
He spoke at the Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) and Photo/Art Exhibition in Abuja.
According to him, the surrender of the Boko Haram terrorists followed the intensive bombarding of the hideouts of the terrorists on the fringes of Sambisa Forest by the Nigerian Army supported by Air assault by the Nigerian Air Force component.
He added that more of the terrorists were in the process of surrendering, noting that it was a welcome development that will bring a sigh of relief to many Nigerians.
Buratai said: “Just a short while ago, I received the good news that about 700 Boko Haram terrorists in the fringes of the Sambisa forest have surrendered.
“It is a clear indication that the war on insurgency and terror is clearly being won. I want to congratulate not only our gallant troops and indeed the Navy and Airforce but all Nigerians.
“The terrorists are surrendering because of the concerted efforts of the Nigerian military. They are in total disarray, they are hungry and are looking for a way out”
Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, who was the special guest of honour, said the role of the Nigerian Army cannot be understated, noting that there is no doubt the army was at the forefront of President Muhammadu Buhari’s change agenda.
Oyo-Ita added that today’s photographic/Art exhibition would serve as an avenue to enlighten the public about the uniqueness of the Nigerian Army and also an opportunity to make the populace appreciate the sacrifices of our men and women in the defence of their fatherland.