The General Officer Commanding, 7 Division of the Nigerian Army Maiduguri, Major General Abdulmalik Bulama Biu, has appealed to Boko Haram terrorists to surrender their arms so that peace can return to the northeast region.
The Islamic sect has terrorised the region since its insurgency escalated in 2019, with thousands of deaths recorded in countless attacks on civilians and members of the Armed Forces.
However, while addressing journalists last weekend, Biu said the northeast region cannot experience progress if it is not peaceful.
He made an appeal to Boko Haram terrorists to repent and rejoin the society for the sake of peace, noting that they can aspire to any political position as a result, even the presidency.
He said, "Boko Haram should lay their arms unconditionally and be accepted in the community. Opportunities are out there for them, they can be rehabilitated.
"An ex Boko Haram having laid his arms and turned away from his negativity, stands to be a president of this country. He stands to aspire to any position in this country.
"Why is he wasting his time when he cannot even deliver? We've appealed to them, including their collaborators, to see reason to as fast as possible quickly drop their arms so that we can once again reoccupy our peaceful position."
Despite his appeal, Biu said the Nigerian Army will not be distracted and will prosecute the war on terror with determination so as to bring lasting peace to the country.
"As a professional soldier, we'll continue to do what we know best and that is to continue to project our effort in a more than determined way," he said.
Despite the current government's insistence that Boko Haram has been 'technically defeated', the group still launches attacks from time to time.
Since Boko Haram's insurgency escalated 10 years ago, it has killed around 30,000 people and displaced millions in the northeast region, with its operations also extending to border countries like Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
Even though the powers of the Abubakar Shekau-led main faction of Boko Haram has been on the wane in the past couple of years, another faction, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), has grown in influence and carried out several savage attacks on military bases since last year.