The Nigerian military sources have reportedly admitted that Boko Haram commanders were negotiating mass surrender with troops of Operation Lafiya Dole when terrorists struck again at Faduma Koloram village in Gubio Local Government Area of Borno State on Tuesday, killing no fewer than 81 persons.
It was a devastating blow to the troops and the top echelon of the army who believed they had incapacitated the Boko Haram terrorists to the point that they’re now looking to surrender.
According to a report by The Whistler, military authorities were deceived by this gambit when no less than 30 top commanders of the terrorists group, including Abubakar Shekau, had indicated to the army their readiness to surrender as far back as March following operational losses to troops’ bombardnents.
In March, Nigerian troops had eliminated not less than 20 of their top commanders including one Abu Usamah, and over 100 of their fighters who were hiding in Kwalaram, Ngilewa, Sabon Tumbu, Bukarmairam, Wulgo in the Marte and Gamboru Ngala axis as well as in Gorgi, Damboa local government of Borno State.
But it would appear that Shekau was only bidding his time to recoup from the damages inflicted on his group as he was said to have reneged on the promise, thereby allegedly incurring the anger of some of his commanders who were said to be desperate for a surrender.
Sources say the Boko Haram commanders and their men were encouraged to take that line of action seeing that the Nigerian government had kept its word not to take any negative action on any of them that surrenders as all their former colleagues that had taken that line of action were well received and rehabilitated.
The commanders reportedly send words to Shekau that they would drop their arms and surrender to the Nigerian Armed Forces soon if he’s not ready to give up the fight, a development that was said to have infuriated Shekau who is said to believe that the military were the ones trying to persuade his men to surrender.
Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col Sagir Musa did not confirm the planned surrender of Shekau when this website contacted him. He said: “Don’t you believe your source? I cannot speak on operational matters, I think you should contact General Enenche.”
But the theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole did not pick his calls and was yet to reply a text message sent to him as at press time.
But Col Sagir issued a press statement on Wednesday explaining why Boko Haram/ISWAP attacked the Borno village the previous day. He said the army was committed to “investigate the circumstances of these callous attacks by desperate Boko Haram criminals…”
Sources say the troops have continued to record successes at the war front. More than 20 of the Boko Haram commanders including Manzar Halid, Amir Abu Fatima and Nicap, among others were killed last week in a counter attack by the operation Lafiya Dole.
Some of their high profile fighters namely, Abu Jamratu AL-Naweer, Kaka Bana and Tareta Babakari were also said to have been fatally wounded in that operation when Boko Haram terrorists attempted to overrun Banki and other communities in Borno State.
A large number of their equipments , including gun trucks, motorcycles and bicycles were destroyed also by troops. In April, Nigerian troops also killed 105 of their men in Buni Gari and captured many weapons including five AK-47 rifles, three GPMG and one Duska anti-aircraft gun.
While in May, 78 members of ISWAP and 56 Boko Haram members were said to have been killed and 28 of their informants were arrested.
Sources claim that Shekau and his close commanders were still hiding somewhere in the Cameroon mountains and it is not clear if the plan to surrender would ever materialize.
Abubakar Tsav, former commissioner of police for Lagos State who died two days ago, had commended Nigerian troops saying they had carried the fight to the terrorists in their enclaves since the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, relocated to the North East in March.