It’s not for heaven’s sake that well over 1000 Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists have been coming out, wives and all, and surrendering to the federal military in Borno.
Abatcha Ngala, a vulcanizer and fighter with the Islamic State for West African Province, ISWAP, has revealed there’s more to the mass surrender.
The swelling speculations—about genuine or fake repentance—across the nation don’t really matter.
At least his own story is not about feeling conflicted for the terror he has unleashed on his countrymen. After all, he is a victim too, having lost his two children while fight at Ngala, Borno.
Abtacha and his wife came out the first time, and were caught. He spent four months in ISWAP prison for trying to flee.
But his desperation drove him into another attempt.
He was simply tired of the blind war, and its hardship. And living on the fringe as a terrorist, to him, was not the best of life, especially with a wife he married before he joined the rebellion.
Sure, Abtacha wanted something other than sustenance—because food was no problem where he was.
“We used to catch fish and sell, we do not have issues getting food because we have people bringing food both within the country and across the border from Cameroon,” he said as he explained to the federal troops.
So the hunger for peace, rest, and freedom drove him out again on another escape mission, with his wife.
His second attempt was successful—risky as it was.
For a fighter to head into the Sambisa forest, all the way from the Cameroonian side, with no weapon to even defend himself is adventurous.
“I have never had a gun,” he said.
“Our leaders bring them when we are going out and they always collect them back after the operations.”
The same applies to some other terrorists who have recapitulated. They didn’t come surrendering weapons.
This has fuelled speculations among Nigerians that it was a plan to infiltrate and over-run the country.