Christopher Musa, theatre commander of the north-east joint task force — operation Hadin Kai — says the army is not pampering surrendered Boko Haram terrorists.
Speaking in an interview with journalists on Wednesday, Musa said the military’s decision to allow insurgents to surrender to troops is in line with international laws and best practices.
He said when an enemy surrenders during combat; the capturing forces are, by law, not to shoot that individual.
He said the army is also expected to treat the surrendered enemy humanely.
“I don’t know if people misunderstood humane treatment as being pampering, because if he is sick, we are supposed to treat him; if he is hungry we are supposed to give him food; we are supposed to provide him shelter just like any other person and that is exactly what we are doing,” NAN quoted him as saying.
“So, there is no aspect of pampering. We are just keeping them as humans to ensure that they are fit enough to go though proper procedure and they will definitely go through this procedure.
“Again, let me assure the public that there is no aspect of pampering. We are sorting them out so that those that didn’t play any part will be handled separately, while those ones that took part actively — the combatants — will be treated separately.
“We want to reassure the citizenry that we are on top of the game. We assure them that we will continue to do our best to ensure that peace returns to the north-east, which is our mandate.”
The theatre commander advised other insurgents to also surrender now that they had the opportunity to do so.
“I am sure that even they too want their children to have a conduicive atmosphere, where they will grow and where there will be development, because staying in the bush and killing people will not provide that,” he said.
“They should not allow anybody to deceive them into taking arms against the nation. They will never win and they can never win.
“It is important for them to understand that anybody who disarms will be treated fairly according to international laws.”