…Fear stricken ones release families to troops
Over 1,500 persons who have so far surrendered to troops of the Nigerian military in Borno State, are members of Boko Haram and not the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) terrorist sect, PRNigeria has reliably gathered.
PRNigeria had reported how top Commanders, fighting insurgents of Boko Haram-ISWAP and their family members, including women and children, surrendered to troops in Bama, Gwoza, Mafa, and Konduga, among other axes, in the North East.
The ex-insurgents, after quitting as terrorists turned in themselves, their families and ammunition to military authorities.
But credible intelligence has revealed that ISWAP fighters, unlike their Boko Haram counterparts, have refused to renounced their extremist ideology and religious terrorism ‘way’.
Findings by PRNigeria have further indicated that the ISWAP hierarchy, whose camps are located in swamps and isolated communities in the Lake Chad region, have rejected the unofficial ‘amnesty deal’ offered by Nigerian troops, which have been receiving other surrendered Boko Haram ex-members, in recent weeks.
Corroborating PRNigeria’s investigation, a military intelligence officer stationed in the North East, said those who have so far surrendered to troops in various parts of Borno State, are not ISWAP, but former Boko Haram members.
In a related development, public outrage over the decision by relevant authorities to profile and then ‘enlist’ repentant terrorists into deradicalization programmes have compelled some Boko Haram insurgents who renounced their sect, to go into hiding.
It was learnt that some Boko Haram members, who had quit their extremist organisation, do not want to hand themselves over to the military.
But they presented their wives, children and other family members, who surrendered on their behalf.
A top security source in Borno, said the repentant ex-terrorists are ‘sceptical’ of the military’s assurance not to arrest, detain and prosecute them.
“They are afraid of what shall become their fate if they dare present themselves to troops even though they have repented and renounced their extremists’ ideologies, as some of their colleagues had earlier done. It seems they are afraid of being prosecuted by the Federal Government. On one hand, there is the issue of stigmatization by members of their society,” he added.