From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Military authorities has explained that no local government or territory in the northeast is under the control of Boko Haram fighters, contrary to several reports in the media that indicated otherwise.
It, rather, explained that the fire powers of the military operations is hitting hard on the insurgents, thus forcing them to seek for refuge in the forests and other obscured locations including the Lake Chad.
Theater Commander, Operation Hadin Kai, Maj Gen. Christopher Musa, in an interview with BBC Hausa Service, on Saturday, said the superior firepower of the military is being unleashed massively on the insurgents resulting in the death of a good number of them.
He said: “Periodically, those managed to escape the fire power come out from hiding to operate, and rush back to their base for refuge. Nevertheless, we are working with the Police and other security forces to fish them out, and soon we would do that.
“However, we have, before now, extended an olive branch to them, to the insurgents that any one that surrenders willingly, we would accept and enlist them for rehabilitation and reintegration programmes, but that would not be same experience for anyone we caught in the cause of our operations.”
He disclosed that the heat of the firepower against the insurgents which led to death of thousands of the men contributed to the increase in the return of abducted Chibok girls and other women and children held in captivity by the Boko Haram insurgents.
He explained: “This year alone, we have rescued nine of the remaining Chibok girls that were abducted on 14th April, 2014. What helped us was, in addition to the sustained firepower that was unleashed on the Boko Haram fighters that had resulted in death of thousands of the men, the rain has also played a significant role so far. It made their place of abode uncomfortable.
“Before now, responses are always slowed down during the rainy season. But we refused to slow down this time. We have invaded their camps and killed as many as we could, and that opened the window of opportunity for the women to escape because these women, originally, were not meant to be there, as they were forcefully abducted from their homes and schools, and taken to the camps to serve the insurgents.”