Nigerian Army speaks on ‘recruiting’ repentant Boko Haram Terrorists


The Nigerian Army has said that it had not and would not enlist former or repentant Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists into the service.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, made the clarification in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

Nwachukwu said an online video circulating in social media by one Young Elder and produced by Anthony Jay attempted to relate the collapse of the Afghan military to the ongoing surrender by the Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists in Nigeria.

According to him, the Young Elder, in a comic way, tried to express worries about the surrendered terrorists.

“While it is understood that the situation in Afghanistan calls for concerns by any right-thinking person or organization, the manner in which the comic Young Elder presented it shows his lack of basic knowledge on the subject he hurriedly delved into.

“The amateurish production conjured some unfounded and baseless claims that only exist in the figment of their imagination, claiming that surrendered terrorists were going to be absorbed into the Nigerian army.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the NA does not have any repentant terrorist joining its ranks and does not have any plan for that.

“There are teaming able-bodied Nigerians that are willing to join the NA to genuinely help in the fight against terrorism and other violent crimes,” he said.

The Army spokesperson said the Nigerian Army was not desperate for prospective recruits to stoop so low to engage the services of former terrorists.

He explained that it was not recommended to absorb former fighters into the services of a regular military as a general rule.

According to him, the campaign of falsehood embarked upon by some individuals who do not wish the nation well cannot distract its personnel from their resolve to bring an end to the violent crimes in the country.

He said the army under the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, would continue to operate within the dictates of the law.

“Surrendered terrorists will be received, processed, and passed to the appropriate government agencies that are saddled with the responsibility of handling them.

“While we recommend that matters related to security be left with those who have the requisite expertise and experience.

“We wish to remind comic characters like Young Elder to focus on contributing towards nation-building and not engaging in a campaign of falsehood,” he said.