As insurgents surrender to military
Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, who are taking refuge in Jalingo, Taraba state have made passionate plea to Taraba State government to come to their aid as hunger and lack of other necessities of life have made life unbearable for them.
The IDPs made the call when Nigerian Pilot visited the camps yesterday.
The affected IDPs are those that fled Boko Haram attacks in Adamawa and Borno states and are currently taking refuge at the Gulun IDPs camp in Jalingo.
Nigerian Pilot learnt that the IDPS are mostly from Chibok, Askira Uba, Gwoza and Madagali local government areas of Borno and Adamawa states that have been at the camp about a year ago.
Secretary of the camp, Mr. Emmanuel Bulus, who spoke on behalf of his people, informed that the major challenge of the IDPs was food as the food stuffs they received from their states have since exhausted.
According to him, “We have been receiving food from NYSC members, nongovernmental organizations and philanthropists, with only a little assistance from Taraba state government,” and appealed to the state government to come to their aid.
Mrs. Japari Mari, a mother of six, while commenting described their situation in the camp as unbearable, saying it is high time Taraba state government attends to their plight to avert chronic starvation confronting them.
Apart from food challenge facing them, Mari lamented that their children have been out of school for over a year because they could not afford to pay their school fees, more so that they are still taking refuge.
She commended the officials of United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, for donating non-food items to them, explaining that by that gesture, some of the challenges were taken care of.
The IDPs, Nigerian Pilot learnt, are looking for the December deadline of President Muhammadu Buhari to the security personnel to end insurgency in their states so that they could return to their homes.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has stated that some members of Boko Haram terror group have surrendered their arms.
According to a statement by the acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, the insurgents began surrendering when they realised that the ‘new strategies’ being deployed by soldiers was becoming successful.
The army spokesman boasted that the new strategies being employed by the military have started yielding positive results, with scores of terrorists surrendering to troops and many more willing to surrender.
Col. Usman stated, “The new strategies employed included sustained offensive operations, pre-emptive air strikes by the Nigerian Airforce and routes blocking by ground troops, all geared towards constricting and snuffing out the Boko Haram terrorists.
According to him, many of the terrorists that willingly surrendered painted images of mass panic and hysteria among their erstwhile colleagues, who are feeling the noose tightening on their necks with the relentless efforts of troops and renewed vigour in operations inspired by the personal leadership of the Chief of Army Staff.
He said, “Terrorists also seem to have an inkling of what happens to surrendered suspects as regards screening and de-redicalisation of innocent ones among them.
“The Nigerian Army in conjunction with the Nigerian Airforce and other security agencies will continue to devise and implement effective strategies to bring Boko Haram terrorism to a speedy end. It will also continue to receive surrendering suspects and assures innocent ones among them that surrender is the only option open to them. The Nigerian Army wishes to also appreciate the great support and information it receives from well meaning citizens.
“More of these are required to help towards quicker obliteration of the Boko Haram scourge in our nation.”
Nigerian Pilot recalls that the Army’s new offensive, tagged ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’, followed the appointment of Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, as the Chief of Army Staff by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buratai, an indigene of Borno, last week visited Gamboru, a border town between Nigeria and Cameroon, which was recently retaken from the insurgents.
It was reported that the Army chief stayed the night there, fraternised with soldiers on the field, and pledged not to lose any territory to the terrorists whose insurgency has caused the death of about 20,000 people since 2009.