By Myke Uzendu and Ralph Christopher, with agency reports
The Nigerian army has handed over 778 family members of the Boko-haram terrorists dislodged recently at Uttu, Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa state, to the state government for further action.
The Commander, 4 Special Forces Command Doma, Maj.-Gen. Moundhey Gadzama Ali, handed over 223 women and 555 children from 17 states and the Federal Capital Territory yesterday.
This was according to the commander, the operation that saw to the total dislodging of the Boko-Haram terrorists group, recovery of tons of arms and ammunition, and the total sweeping of their bomb factory in Toto LGA, nicknamed “OPERATION NUT CRACKER”.
He explained that the operation was conducted to clear Ugya Forest, Panda forest, Uttu and contagious hills in Nasarawa state, following reports of series of criminal activities ranging from kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and so on carried out by the terrorists.
He said: “Other areas of interest include Zangana, Makpa, Agbuchi and Barada in Koton Karfe Local Government Area of Kogi state.
“The Boko haram terrorists in North-Central zone have over the years, been using these villages as camps to unleash mayhem on victims along the Okene-Lokoja roads, Lokoja-Abaji roads, as well as Toto- Umasha roads.
“This afternoon your Excellencies, is the product of seamless cooperation, discreet and sound planning, effective cooperation and above all, professional execution based on detailed preparations that we are witnessing.
“I therefore present to you these captured 778 women and children, family members of Boko-Haram terrorists that came from 17 states of the nation who have decided to terrorize this nation as you can see,” he said.
The Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, commended the efforts of the military in dislodging the terrorists camp.
Represented by his deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, Gov. Sule said that he will not rest until terrorism is completely wiped out of Nasarawa state.
The governor called on the fleeing members of the sect to surrender their arms or face the wrath of the military.
The Governor of Niger state, Abubakar Sani Bello, equally represented by his deputy, Ahmed Mohammed Keto, said he was there to collect the persons originally from his state, assuring that they will go through rehabilitation on arrival.
He commended Gov. Sule and the military on the success of the operation.
Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi state, who was represented by his Senior Special Adviser on Security, Doru Jerry, urged members of the public to be alert and report any suspicious activity going on in their surroundings.
“It is on this note that we will receive the women and children from Kogi State. We will ensure the profiling of them properly, and we will ensure we integrate them into the society after all processes have been completed,” he said.
Breakdown of the 778 captured persons is as follows: Niger state leads with a total of 318 persons, 86 women and 232 children, Kano state has a total of 84 persons, 20 women and 64 children, Sokoto state has 20 women, 43 children, FCT 15 women and 42 children, Kogi 15 women and 31 children, Katsina 13 women and 26 children.
Adamawa state has 7 women and 22 children, Borno 7 women and 18 children, kaduna 12 women and 16 children, Bauchi 4 women and 12 children, Kwara 5 women 11 children, Nasarawa 8 women 11 children, Zamfara 3 women and 9 children, Kebbi 2 women and 7 children, Gombe 2 women and 7 children, Jigawa 3 women and 4 children, while Yobe has 1 woman.