*2,000 more expected to follow
By Myke Uzendu
Claimed defection by Boko Haram/Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists from their enclaves have been growing with another set of the insurgents alongside their families members surrendering to the Armed Forces of Nigeria on Sunday in Mafa, Borno State, North-East zone.
The surrender and claimed defection from terrorism beings to about 1,500, the number of such terrorists’ commanders and fighters who have been received by the Nigerian military.
A video clip from PRNigeria, an embedded military source, showed several of the repentant terrorists and people they claimed were their family members, including women and children, filing out (in a straight line) from an unidentified dense vegetation.
But critics have been questioning the motive of the terrorists as similar surrender in the past three years which led to debriefing, training and release of such persons in the past only fueled more ferocious attacks subsequently.
Also, analysts query the claims and published successes against terrorist by the military especially against the backdrop of a successful ambush on the military and taking away of military arms, ammunition and hardware facilities.
The surrendered terrorists and ther family members, sources said, proceeded to Mafa where they were received by the troops.
However, how the surrendered terrorists, who were reportedly “massively bombarded and decimated” by the Military all along, successfully cordinate their family members, including kidnapped school children they have been defiling, and took them to the military bases without being detected, baffle analysts and put a serios question on the motive and organisational ability of the terrorists.
It was reperted that some former top commanders of the terrorist groups, including Adamu Rugurugu, and their family members have so far surrendered to the military at various designated locations in Borno State.
Apart from Mafa, some of the surrendering points of the terrorists and their families over this weekend included Bama and Gwoza.
Sources said that part of the issues driving the massive surrender of the terrorists and their families was the massive campaign jingles sponsored by the Nigerian military in both Kanuri and Hausa languages which has so affected them in recent times that they opted to “quit terrorism” and lay down their arms.
In addition, some of the terrorists opted to leave their camps to surrender because of aggressive advocacy by Islamic scholars and family members.
Stating that about 2,000 more terrorists are expected to surrender at the Lake Chad Basin axis due to the psychological operation, the sources quipped that “most of them, who surrendered in the last few days are renouncing their membership of Boko Haram and ISWAP because of campaign jingles, advocacy by religious scholars and engagement with their family members and friends which have been enlightening on the need to jettison their barbaric activities.
“We are expecting about 2,000 more from the Lake Chad axis.
“In fact, most of them were either forcefully conscripted or brainwashed to joining the terrorists during the heat of Boko Haram terrorism.
“They have also surrendered a lot of weapons and are cooperating with our team in designated locations.”