The Nigeria Army has released a total of 566 wives and children of Boko Haram detainees by the military on Friday, according to statements made to the press.
Ag GOC of 7 Division of Nigeria Army, Brigadier General Victor Ezegwu, made the formal handing over of the captives to the Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima at Rehabilitation Center in Maiduguri.
Mr. Ezegwu said that the detainees included 366 breastfeeding babies, 149 breastfeeding mothers, and 62 under-aged youth. The majority of the 566 people are believed to be families of the insurgents saved after the military took over the camps during operations.
Mr. Shettima said at the event: "What is of importance we should all know, is that an average male member of the Boko Haram has one great wish and that wish is for his son or daughter to inherit his doctrine of violence. The insurgents seriously take to child bearing as a strategy of not only multiplying their numbers but also producing children they hope, will continue from where their fathers stop in violent killings as their own form of worship.
“The goal of Boko Haram fathers is that even if they are killed by our armed forces, they want to bequeath to us, a future of violence in Borno State, a future of violence in the northeast and a violent future for our country.
"Our ultimate aim in taking custody of families of insurgents is to cut the cycle of violence so as to secure the future of Borno State. Our aim is to give education to the children of the insurgents so that these children will grow to despise the values and doctrines their parents lived and preached.
“The children will not be trained with any element of hate for their parents, they won't even be told about the ways of their parents so that they don't grow with deflated self esteem. These children will be raised like every other child, they will be raised to love and not to hate like their parents wished for them,” Shettima concluded.
It was the fourth time the military handed over such families and detained suspects freed to the Borno state government.