THE Federal Government of Nigeria has said that there is no plan to recruit the surrendered Boko Haram and the Islamic States West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists into the Nigerian military.
Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed, who gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Washington, described claims in certain quarters that the surrendered insurgents would be recruited into the Nigerian military as false and demoralising.
Mohammed warned those spreading negative and false narratives around the terrorists who were surrendering in droves in the North-East to desist from doing so.
He said rather than changing the narratives, President Muhammadu Buhari and the military should be commended for their resourcefulness and doggedness respectively in the fight against insurgency.
“The fact that we are witnessing insurgents submitting in droves calls for the commendation of our military for their doggedness,” he said.
“We must not forget that two months ago, Nigerians were putting pressure on the president to recruit mercenaries to fight the war against terror because they said we were losing the war.
“The president, however, remained focused and confident in his belief in the Nigerian military have what it takes to defeat the insurgents. We thank God that Mr President today has been proven right.
“We were able to achieve this, largely because of the leadership of Mr President in providing the wherewithal continually to the military and ensuring that their fighting morale is sustained by way of welfare packages.’’
The Nigerian Army have, in recent times, announced the gale of the surrender by the insurgents. Army Spokesperson Onyema Nwachukwu announced, in a statement on Monday, that about 186 terrorists consisting of their wives and other family members surrendered to the Nigerian troops of Operation HADIN KAI at Forward Operational Base (FOB) Ajiri.
Nwachukwu claimed that the terrorist organisations were now being overwhelmed with palpable fear owing to the surrender of their members.
Some Nigerians have condemned the olive branch being offered by the Nigerian government to the insurgents who have been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Nigerians and displacements in the North-East.
Already, there are calls by a controversial Muslim group that the surrendered insurgents should be pampered and be treated like newly-found brothers.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) wants the authorities to do everything possible to resettle and reintegrate the insurgents who are surrendering back into the society.
MURIC Director Ishaq Akintola appealed that the insurgents, who had terrorised Borno State for more than a decade, should be trained invocations that would enable them to cater for themselves and their families in future.