Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar has revealed that the remnants of Boko Haram sect have been surrendering in droves due to the renewed commitment by the Nigerian Airforce NAF to eliminate insurgency in the Northeast.
The Air Chief made this known on Friday in Abuja, at a press conference to kick start activities for the 52nd anniversary of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) themed: “Re- uniting for enhanced service delivery and operational effectiveness.”
He said although there are still pockets of insurgent attacks on soft targets, the battle is already being won, urging local communities to offer credible intelligence to security operatives.
He said: “Looking at where we are coming from, I think we have done substantially well. In those days in 2014, you had convoy of vehicles moving round villages and killing Nigerians but it is no longer so.
“So, we came up with the idea of ‘safe corridor’. If you want to come out, come out and then we profile you, keep you under watch before taking the next step.”
“So many of them are surrendering in large numbers, we have seen that they are surrendering because they know that there is no escape.”
“I believe that very soon, God’s willing, we shall come to the end of this problem. We are at the tail end of this operation.”
Abubakar added that available intelligence showed that many of the terrorists are exhausted and want to stop fighting.
“Some of them are trapped and they do not know how to come out”, he said.
Speaking on whether the leader of the group is still alive or using a look-alike in releasing propaganda videos, the Airforce Chief said the Defence Intelligence Agency DIA is currently analysing the latest Shekau video to make “sense” of what is contained therein.
Abubakar concluded by saying that as part of celebrations for its anniversary, the NAF will be holding a reunion of serving and retired officers from the 12 to 15 April 2016 in order to brain storm on core professional challenges.