Not less than 240 members of Boko Haram sect have surrendered following sustained ground and air raid at their hideouts by the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), the military said in a statement.
The Task Force, made up of soldiers from Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon, had embarked on Operation Gama Aiki to flush out the insurgents from the countries.
According to Colonel Muhammad Dole, Chief Military Public Information Officer, the mass defection took place in Sector 2 Area of Responsibility (AOR) Bagasola in Chad.
Most of the insurgents handed over their arms to the nearest locations of the ground forces in the operation areas.
The statement added that the soldiers had succeeded in blocking logistics supply routes to the insurgents causing the Boko Haram members and their families to abandon their locations and surrendered.
It said defectors are being profiled and camped in Bagasola where they were addressed by the Commander MNJTF, Major General Lamidi Adeosun.
The Commander commended the leaders of the ex-Boko Haram members for their courage and taking the right decision to abandoned terrorism and insurgency for normal life.
He assured them of safety and good care as long as they remain in the camps and urged them to encourage their colleagues in the bush to stop fighting and join them in the camps.
“This peaceful disarming and profiling of the ex-BHT by the MNJTF forces, clearly demonstrated extent of professionalism and adherence to International Humanitarian Laws and Laws of Armed Conflict in combat operations,” he added.
The Commander donated token cash for purchase of two cows and 10 bags of assorted food stuff for each of the two groups for the welfare and up keep of the ex-insurgents and their families.
The defection brings to 460, the number of surrendered ex-insurgents in sector.
While addressing a team of International Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in the camps, the Commander praised their commitment and sacrifice in discharging their humanitarian duties.
He implored them to mobilise more resources and manpower, as more insurgents were expected to defect and join their colleagues in the camps.
The defectors, he said, he said would be given trainings in different skills and small businesses as scheduled by government agencies and NGOs.
Meanwhile, plans are underway by the Nigerian Army and the Police on joint operations in crisis areas such as the North East, the Niger Delta, the North West and others.