The Nigerian Army on Wednesday released 983 suspects cleared of links with Boko Haram insurgents.

Maj.-Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi, the Theater Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD), made the disclosure in Maiduguri at the formal handing over of the suspects to the Borno State Government.

Adeniyi disclosed that the suspects comprised of 978 males and five females.

He said that the affected persons were detained at a military facility over suspected links with the insurgents.

Adeniyi explained that the suspects were cleared by the Joint Investigative Panel set up by the authorities.

The commander added that the detainees were cleared of any links with insurgents and certified fit for reintegration with their families and society.

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“The release of the detainees mark a milestone in the Operation Lafiya Dole to defeat insurgency and restore peace to the region.

”The Federal Government implemented the Operation Safe Corridor to encourage insurgents to surrender for rehabilitation and integration into the society.

“I call on the insurgents to surrender to enable them benefit from opportunities of the programme. Their aim for a caliphate will not be actualize, I call on the insurgents to surrender.

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“Let Shekau and Albarnawi to die alone, they are defeated and you should not die with them,” Adeniyi said.

While commending the Borno Government over its support to the military, Adeniyi advocated for skill training programme to enable the released suspects to learn trades and engage in productive activities.

Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno commended the gesture, adding that “the event is significant in paving the way to end insurgency”.

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“It also signalled the beginning of peace in the state”.

Zulum called on the people to accept the released detainees, stressing that they were proved to be free and innocent sequel to investigations conducted by the investigative committee.

He called on the military to adopt proactive measures to release innocent persons in its facilities in accordance with the laws.