The Borno State Police Command said on Wednesday that as a result of "Operation Safe Corridor," the counter-terrorism effort of the Nigerian military, two high profile commanders of the Boko Haram militant group have surrendered, along with their families.
In a statement to newsmen in Maiduguri by its public relations officer, DSP Victor Isuku, the command said that 13 civilians were also rescued from suspected kidnappers, with two of the hoodlums dying of injuries received in a gun battle with the police. Two AK-47 rifles were also recovered.
“The 13 rescued victims were formally handed over to the His Excellency, Alhaji Mamman Durkwa, Deputy Governor of Borno state, today at the Government House,” the spokesman said.
He noted that with the unconditional surrender to the police of the terrorists, the efforts of the military had recorded another victory.
According to the statement, the surrender was negotiated on Sunday evening by the intelligence arm of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) of the police command with the repentant Boko Haram commanders along with their families.
“One Ibrahim Dala (alias Abu Ali), formerly of Kawar Mela ward, Maiduguri, an Amir (commander) of the Mamman Nur faction, along with Audu Mustapha Bukar, 'm' 20yrs and Laminu Mustapha Modu, 'm' 25yrs, all residing at Talala insurgents camp in Sambisa forest, surrendered themselves unconditionally to Borno State police command,” he said.
“Audu Mustapha Bukar and Laminu Mustapha Modu, both of whom are from Ngallamari village, claimed to have been held hostage by the sect sometime ago and [had been] conscripted."
The spokesman named the others as:
(a) Alhaji Ali 'm', 25yrs of Alagarno village
(b) Abubakar Mele 'm', 30yrs of Yasko village
(c) Modu Umar 'm', 20yrs of Bursum village
(d) Modu Maina 'm', 15yrs of Bursum village
(e) Ali Kolo 'm', 20yrs of Alagarno village
(f) Bintu Abukar 'f', 14yrs of Yasko village
(g) Falmata Abukar 'f', 15yrs of Yasko village
(h) Hauwa Ali 'f' 15yrs of Alagarno village
(i) Husam Ali 'f' 14yrs of Alagarno village.
(j) Mallam Modu 'f' 16yrs of Bursum village.
The group included five children, he added, between the ages of between one and eight years of age. He said they made useful statements that will assist in the counter-insurgency campaign of the military, and are undergoing preliminary profiling preparatory to transfer to the military.
Of the rescue of the 13, DSP Isuku in another statement attributed that achievement to the efforts of local hunters, recalling that on August 19, the Area Commander in Biu had reported/received (?) a case of abduction of four male and two female children.
“The Command striking unit (SARS) and a team of investigators were promptly dispatched to the area,” he said. “The said deployment and the use of undercover operatives led to the arrest of 5 persons who made confessional statements and revealed the location where the abducted children were kept.”
He added that on September 8, through community policing partnership and networking, the Command, acting with local hunters and vigilante members dominated the hostage scene near Kumaya village in Buni Yadi area of Yobe state. Following a gun battle with the hoodlums in the forest lasting about one hour, several rescues and recoveries were made.
In addition to the six children, seven other abducted persons were rescued.
DSP Isuku also said that two members of the search party were injured during the exchange of fire, but are being treated and are in stable condition.