The Nigeria Army, Abuja has announced that no fewer than 8000 Boko Haram members had given up arms and voluntarily surrendered through ‘Operation Safe Corridor’ set up by the military in the North-East.
While addressing the media at a lecture themed: “Media-Military Relationship in the Fight against Insurgency,” organised by the FCT Correspondents’ Chapel of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), the Director of Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, said the surrendered Boko Haram members were in a camp in Gombe State waiting to be “deradicalized” by the military.
He further stated that more than 10,000 Boko Haram captives had been rescued by the military and some of them were reunited with their families, while others were taken to Internally Displaced Person’s (IDP) camps.
According to general Abubakar the terrorists had been successfully decimated by the military and government was working hard on the rehabilitation of the victims and reconstruction of the affected areas.
The general added that the military would soon launch “Operation Safe Corridor” to address the menace of herdsmen across the country. He assured that the military operation would put an end to the wanton killings by the herdsmen.
Responding to questions on the recent action by the military declaring some journalists wanted, the general urged the media not to allow sentiments to influence their judgment on the issue.
“The military should be allowed to do its work,” he said. I assure you that no member of the media would be victimized unnecessarily.”
Abubakar said that good military-media relationship was crucial to winning the war against insurgency. He pointed out that the media can drive public support for the military which in turn would boost the morale of officers and the rank and file.
In response to the treaty, the Secretary of NUJ in FCT, Hajia Rafat Salami, said there was the need for the military and the media to work together in the fight against terrorism and other crimes. The military, she said, must see the media as partner in progress and not as enemy.
Chairman of the Correspondents Chapel, Raphael Ekpang, thanked the general for finding time out of his tight schedule to share his thoughts on the topic.