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Army Hands Over 983 Screened and Cleared Boko Haram Suspects To Gov Zulum

By Sadiq Abubakar, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri

The Theater Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Theater Command Headquarters, Maimalari Cantonment Maiduguri, Major General Olusegun Gabriel Adeniyi on Wednesday handed over 983 Boko Haram Suspects that were arrested and been in military custody for years at Giwa Barrac ks, Maiduguri.

At a symbolic handing over, the theater Commander said the suspects were not found guilty and obedient citizens of Nigerian after thorough screening and clearnace which informed their release and freedom

General Adeniyi however noted that peace has been restored in the state and region while constituted authorities and other activities have returned if not improved steadily with the operations of the Nigerian armed forces in Collaboration with other security agencies including the vigilante hunters and CJTF.

He added that the army has always and will continue to discharge it's constitutional responsibility in the region until the reminants of the Boko Haram insurgents and bandits as well as kidnappers are ridden out of the state and North east region.

The Theater Commander further explained that today 983 Boko Haram Suspects arrested and detained have been investigated and found to be of good character and obedientt citizens of the country while disclosing that 5 out of the 983 suspects released are females while 978 other suspects are males comprising the young and the old.

He also promised that the Nigerian armed forces will not intimidate neither humiliate anybody and anyone found not guilty will be released and handed over to the Government.

" The Military is ever ready and our doors are also always open. Once you surrender yourself to embrace peace, we are ever ready to welcome and accept you humbly and honourably. General Adeniyi appealed for intervention programmes for the released Boko Haram Suspects, calling on the state government to engage the suspects with skills acquisition programmes in various fields and also support them as well as encourage them to be self reliant in order not to be security threat in future due to unemployment and poverty.

"Operation Safe Corridor doors are still open and free for any one who wants to surrender at anytime", Adeniyi said.

He however urged the public to inform security agencies nearest to them about anybody willing to voluntarily surrender, pointing out that, " it is time to forgive and embrace peace and each other".

Adeniyi also assured that the Nigerian Armed Forces will continue to protect and safeguard the unity and sovereignty of the state and country especially at this period of emerging peace in the state and region as well as restore peace to it's fullest in the North East .

He also charged the citizens of Nigeria to be law abiding to constituted authorities and remain calm as well as peaceful.

Receiving the 983 Boko Haram suspects cleared and released by the military, Governor Professor Babagana Umara Zulum expressed appreciation to the military and other security agencies including the vigilante groups, hunters and CJTF for the work they have been doing for the people of Borno state and Nigeria.

He also paid tribute to the fallen heroes who lost their lives while serving their fatherland.

The governor also consoled the families, friends, relations and loved ones of the fallen heroes while praying for the repose of the souls of the fallen heroes and quick recovery of those who are still nursing their wounds on bed in hospital.

Zulum urged the Theater Commander to continue with the processes of screening, clearing and releasing innocent persons in military custody, stressing that, the release of 983 Boko Haram Suspects by the military indicated that not all suspects are Boko Haram terrorists.

He pledged to rehabilitate them within one month (4 weeks) and reintegrate them into the society to reunite with their families and relations.

"On those willing to surrender, I am in support of what the Theater Commander said. It is time we forgive and live together in unity and peace. I encourage you to surrender and engage on dialogue. We need to embrace peace by adopting to dialogue as the best option for reconciliation and peace.

"I assure you very soon, the Boko Haram Insurgency will be a history and peace Insha Allah will be totally restored. And for those Boko Haram Suspects released, I will take good care of them", Zulum'said.

One of the released 983 Boko Haram Suspects, Ahmad Jidda from Adamawa state who spoke on behalf of other freed suspects, thanked the government and military for taking proper care of them and finally releasing them while calling on Boko Haram insurgents to surrender and embrace peace.

He also appreciated the state government and Governor Zulum for accepting them and willing to rehabilitate and reintegrate them with their families and loved ones.