Abuja — In an effort to intensify the onslaught against Boko Haram insurgency, the Nigerian military has inducted Cameroonian defence forces into the Operation Lafiya Dole.
According to Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, the Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Rogers Nicholas, led a joint team of Field Commanders from Operation Lafiya Dole and Cameroonian Defence Forces to formally receive and induct Cameroonian troops who arrived Gwoza to join in the ongoing counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations in the north eastern Nigeria and the borders between Nigeria and Cameroon.
The theatre commander charged them to exhibit discipline and professionalism in the discharge of their assigned tasks and duties.
He urged them to be courageous and display aggression towards the insurgents during operations.
General Nicholas also admonished the troops to be obedient to instructions from their commanders, adding that their compliance with these instructions would facilitate the decisive defeat of the insurgents sooner than expected.
He said the Theatre Commander was accompanied by the leader of the Cameroonian Defence Forces delegation, Brigadier General Djonkeb Frederick, the General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Major General Ibrahim Yusuf, the Chief of Staff Headquarters, Theatre Command, Brigadier General IL Akinlawon, and other senior military officers from both countries.
Nwachukwu said the Theatre Commander along with the senior officers also inspected the equipment of the newly inducted Cameroonian troops. The troops and their equipment were subsequently handed over to the General Officer Commanding 7 Division who is also the Commander Sector 1 of Operation Lafiya Dole.
Also, following ongoing onslaught by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole conducting Operations Deep Punch 2 in the Sambisa forest, additional 26 insurgents have surrendered to the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.
Nwachukwu observed that the insurgents who surrendered from the Damboa general area of southern Borno, also submitted their weapons to the troops.
Parading the surrendered insurgents before international and local press correspondents, Major General Nicholas told the insurgents that all Nigerians were delighted to witness their penitence and abandonment of Boko Haram's hypocritical ideology and futile struggle.
He assured them of adequate safety and subsequent participation in the federal government's deradicalisation and rehabilitation program under the auspices of Operation Safe Corridor, stating that, no surrendered insurgents will be harmed by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.
Gen Nicholas further urged them to call on their contemporaries who are still putting up resistance and fleeing, to reject Boko Haram hypocritical leaders and surrender to troops nearest to their locations."
Nwachukwu added that "some of the surrendered insurgents who interacted with journalists, disclosed that the ranks of the Boko Haram insurgents have been severely depleted and fatigued, hence the resort to abandoning the struggle and surrendering.
They also called on their comrades to turn in themselves to the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, promising that no harm would be done to them if they surrender voluntarily.