We’ve weakened Boko Haram/ISWAP fighting capacity – Theatre Commander
The Theatre Commander, Joint Task Force Northeast Operation Hadin Kai, OPHK, Maj. Gen. Christopher Musa, says troops’ strategic destruction of terrorists’ logistics helped to greatly weaken their fighting capacity.
Musa, while addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Maiduguri, attributed the mass surrendering of Boko Haram and Islamic States West Africa Province, ISWAP, terrorists to the system adopted by the military.
He said the military was able to block the supply of food, fuel and other logistics to the terrorists, which made life difficult for them.
The theatre commander also said that the death of Abubakat Shekau broke the strength of the Boko Haram group coupled with the supremacy battle between them and ISWAP.
“Beside that, the kinetic effort now improved because the government was able to provide more equipment and military hardware that before now used to be difficult to get, because we were over relying on the western world.
“We went to China and other areas and we were able to get some of those things,” he said.
Musa added that the new military equipment propelled the troops to intensify their kinetic efforts.
“We then adopted this system of destroying their logistics, so it became so difficult for them to get food, fuel and other logistics from outside.
“That was why we also brought in the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) which blocked the terrorists exits in the troops contributing countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger,” he added.
The theater commander also said the effect of the rainy season and the floods made the axis very untenable, forcing the terrorists to either surrender or die.
“There was no third option for them,” he added,
He said the Borno government also opened a window of negotiation with terrorists willing to surrender.
“We got some of them that said they wanted to come out and the first few were about 11 or 12.
“They wanted to come out. So we told them while you are coming out, come with your weapons, drop the weapons, bring yourself up and the closest military unit will take you in.
“So, when the first 11 came out and they were taken to their camps and were given water to bath, ate, changed their clothes and were treated well, they couldn’t believe it.
“So they quickly grabbed phones and started calling their colleagues that it was the opposite of what they were told.
“Now they are coming out with their wives and children, and we now have over 82,000 with over 41,000 children.
“They were growing a new generation of fighters and those ones were going to be more dangerous than their parents, because by human nature where the child grows and what they saw will make them believe that it is the natural thing to do.
“So if a child grew up in that situation where they tell him everybody in Nigeria is his enemy, he will hold to that belief,” he added.
Musa said the surrendering of the terrorists had brought some measure of peace and stability to the region, adding that the major work left was humanitarian in nature.
He commended the Borno government for catering to the needs of such large number of people at once.
The theater commander urged the Federal Government to give strong support to the state government to achieve the desired result.
He reiterated the commitment of the military in sustaining its kinetic effort and providing security for governmental and non-governmental agencies to carry out their activities.