Another batch of 125 Boko Haram suspects were released by the army on Saturday in Maiduguri after being cleared of involvement in the sect’s activities.They had been arrested at Miringa town ,Biu local government on September 23.
Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman who was accompanied by some senior officers of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army handed over the 125 freed men to Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State.
Col. Usman explained that on the heels of intense bombardments and ground operations targeted at Boko Haram camps in southern part of the state, the insurgents ran helter skelter in various directions.
“This prompted the military to mount consistent search and in the process 254 people were intercepted.
“Among those arrested, quite a number were confirmed to be hard core members of the terrorists group and are undergoing further interrogations.
“However, the 125 people in front of you today were found to have no link whatsoever with the terrorists group.
“Therefore, in its wisdom, the Army headquarters directed that we should hand them over to you so that they would thereafter be allowed to go back to their families,” Colonel Musa said.
Recounting his ordeal ,one of those who regained freedom, Ibrahim Umar who is a driver recalled that his ship-load of truck and people were apprehended near Biu in the southern part of the state.
“We were arrested and taken to the barracks in Biu where throughout our stay, we passed through series of interrogations and at the end of the day, God vindicated some of us and we have regained our freedom.
“I am sure my family would be shocked to see me alive because nobody has ever seen me since the day I was arrested,” he said.
Commenting on the incident, Shettima who was there with Senator Ali Ndume as well as some government officials commended the army.
“Undoubtedly, the image of the army has been bolstered and our special appreciation goes to the officers and men that are here, working tirelessly to contain the mindless killings of innocent people.”
Earlier in the week, the army freed 42 suspects which it also said had been cleared of any involvement in Boko Haram activities.