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Top Boko Boko Haram leader surrenders to Nigerian military

Lagos – A high ranking Boko Haram leader and three other extremists reportedly handed themselves over to the Nigerian military early this week.

According to Premium Times, Boko Haram leader Konto Fanami, and three other members willingly handed themselves over to the army on Monday.

In a statement, military spokesperson Sani Usman said that Boko Haram had “deserted their hideouts and surrendered themselves to 120 Task Force Battalion at Goniri in Borno”.

He added that the four men claimed that they had decided to hand themselves over to the military officials after realising that they had been misled by the insurgent group.

“The remorseful surrendered terrorists regretted their involvement in terrorism and marveled at the courtesy and humane treatment accorded them by the military on surrendering,” Usman was quoted as saying.

Usman has called on other Boko Haram members to follow suit, adding that adequate arrangements had been made to receive all those who voluntarily renounced terrorism and surrendered themselves, assuring that they would be treated “humanely”.

This comes amid reports that a group of community elders in northeast Nigeria, where Boko Haram has waged a bloody eight-year insurgency, are urging the Islamists to enter peace talks, a move some see as motivated by ethnic self-interest.

The Borno Elders Forum of retired military and civilian officials, all ethnic Kanuri, said it was “time they (Boko Haram) put down their arms” and that they should “repent and rejoin the larger society”.

But, President Muhammadu Buhari, a former army general, has given no sign of wanting to negotiate a settlement since he came to power in 2015.

Buhari’s government in recent months has claimed to have crushed Boko Haram in the Sambisa forest, one of the jihadists’ last remaining strongholds.

Buhari congratulated his troops for “finally entering and crushing the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents at ‘Camp Zero’, which is located deep within the heart of Sambisa Forest”.

Despite Buhari’s claims, the insurgent group has continued to launch deadly attacks in the country’s northeastern parts, according to reports. DM

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