The Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) has received 47 members of Boko Haram/Islamic States West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorist groups.
Member countries of MNJTF, formed in 2015, are Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.
The terrorists surrendered to troops in the Lake Chad and surrounding areas (Sector 1).
Chief of Military Public Information, MNJTF Col. Timothy Antigha, in a statement on Friday, announced that the terrorists renounced with their families.
He said their reasons were recent power tussle in the sects’ top echelon, ethnicity and failure to actualise the establishment of a caliphate in the Sahel.
Antigha quoted an insurgent, who participated in attacks on Banki, Fotokol, Gambarou Ngala, New Marte, Chikun Gudu and others, as expressing frustration with the lack of progress in the jihad.
“They told us that we were being lied to and cheated by apostate governments, but I have not seen any difference between Shekau and those he has been condemning. I am having it a lot better here because since we came out of the bush, we have been fed and catered for,” he said.
Antigha disclosed that another ex-fighter claimed that he was misled to kill innocent people, for which he might face physical and spiritual condemnation.
The defector confirmed that there was ethnic rivalry among members of Boko Haram and ISWAP.
“If you do not speak a particular language, you can not be appointed a commander or made a guard in the bush. You can not go for tax collection. This discriminatory attitude made some of us feel we are not trusted and good enough to be given responsibilities,” he added.
Antigha further quoted a female sect member who lamented the severe abuse of women in the camps.
“Those people are ungodly, so they can not tell the world that they are doing the will of Allah,” he said.
Antigha said the Force has been vindicated by the testimonies.
He renewed the call on other fighters in the bush to come out.
“MNJTF Troop Contributing Countries have structures and programmes in place to receive all those who surrender. The MNJTF urges communities to accept repented terrorists back after their rehabilitation, even though some of them had perpetrated heinous crimes.”
The Force added that such a gesture by communities “will go a long way in the continuing efforts to defeat terrorism and build peace in the Lake Chad Basin”.