Do not panic about mass surrendering of Boko Haram members – CDS

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Leo Irabor, has allayed the fears of Nigerians on the ongoing mass surrendering by members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect.

Irabor gave the advice in a statement issued by Maj.-Gen. Benjamin Sawyer, Director, Defence Information at the end of an interactive session which the CDS had with retired senior military officers residing in the North-East Zone.

The session was held on Tuesday in Yola.

Irabor expressed appreciation to the people of the North-East for supporting the military operations.

“Gen. Irabor posited that the solutions to the North-East security challenges lie in the region, as he was optimistic that the situation would get better and better in the days ahead.

“On the recent fear and apprehension making the rounds about the mass surrendering of Boko Haram /ISWAP ex-members, the CDS reassured Nigerians to trust the relevant agencies that have been tasked with the responsibility of planning the rehabilitation of repented insurgents,” Irabo was quoted as saying in the statement.

According to him, the military will deal with the matter for the good of the region, as there would be no loose ends.x

The four-star general urged the military veterans to take full advantage of the security parley in evaluating the various military operations.

He noted that their patriotic and constructive assessment of the general security situation would add value to the ongoing military offensive in the region.

“What remains very clear is the desire and will of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) to speedily turn around the fortune of the North-East to a state where everyone will be happy again,” the CDS said.

He described the attack on the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) officers’ residential quarters as more of a criminal activity associated with bandits.

He said the military was already on the matter.

The Chief of Defence Civil-Military Cooperation (CDCIMIC), Rear Adm. Fredrick Ogu, disclosed that the one-day security parley would include a briefing by the Chief of Defence Intelligence.

He said there would be a briefing on the general security situation in the North-East, group presentations and an interactive session.

In his address, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 3 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj.- Gen. Ismaila Ali, commended the Defence Headquarters for the laudable initiative of tapping from the wealth of experience of retired senior officers.

Ali was represented by the Commander 23 Brigade, Brig.- Gen. Aminu Garba.

According to the GOC, the cross-fertilisation of ideas between the AFN leadership and veterans is tailored to find solutions to the security challenges bedevilling the nation.

Notable among the top military brass that attended the parley were the Chief of Defence Administration, Rear Adm. Mohammed Adamu and the Air Officer Commanding, Special Operations Command, Nigerian Air Force, AVM Charles Ohwo.

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