No fewer than suspected 778 family members of Boko Haram terrorists from 17 states in the northern part of the country have been rescued in Nasarawa State.
The family members were reportedly dislodged from the Ugya, Panda and Uttu forests and contiguous hills in the Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State by the 4 Special Forces Command, Doma; Operation Whirl Stroke, Nigeria Navy Ship Lugard, the Nigerian Air Force and the Command Army Records.
Others formations that participated in the operation were the Guards Brigade, the Nigeria Police Force and the Department of State Services.
Speaking at the handing over to governors of the affected states in Doma, the Commandant, 4 Special Forces Command, Maj. Gen. Moundhey Ali, said the operation was predicated on several complaints ranging from killings, kidnapping, abduction for slavery and sex, and cattle rustling, among others.
He said Boko Haram terrorists in the North-Central had been using villages as camps to unleash mayhem on victims along the Okene-Lokoja, Abaji and Toto-Umasha roads.
Ali, who said the Operation Nut Cracker was as a result of painstaking intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance.
“The command has launched a manhunt to ensure that escaped terrorist leaders like Sadiqu, Badiqu, Babuji Yellow and Buji are apprehended,” he stated.
Earlier, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, warned the escaped Boko Haram terrorists to surrender their arms and ammunition for their own good.
Also, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, represented by his Senior Special Adviser on Security, Commander Duro Jerry (retd.), said as far as the state was concerned, family members of terrorists remained terrorists.
Those rescued were 555 children and 223 women.
Arms and ammunition were reportedly recovered from them.