Rabi Abu-Yasir, wife of the Boko Haram’s chief physician, on Saturday surrendered to the military on Operation Lafiya Dole. The army is currently on clearance operation to route out remnants of the insurgents.
Maj.-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, made the disclosure while handing over 82 women and children rescued from the insurgents’ captivity to the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), in Maiduguri. Rabi told newsmen that her husband was the medical doctor to the insurgents’ leader, Abubakar Shekau. She said that she was rescued on Friday after the troops dislodged the insurgents’ enclaves in Sambisa Forest.
Recounting her ordeal, Rabi said that unlike her peers, she enjoyed preferential treatment and privileges in view of her position as a wife to the physician. “My husband, Abu-Yasir, is Shekau’s physician, he also treats patients and conduct the surgical operations. My type of food and other consumables are better from what they gave out to other women and children in the camps. We suffered in their hands and they warned us that Nigerian troops will kill anybody who surrenders to them. They always told us to stay with them and encouraged us not to submit to the troops” she said.
Nicholas explained that Rabi was among the 84 civilians rescued by the troops. He disclosed that eight of the 84 rescued persons were currently receiving treatment at the Nigerian Air Force Medical facility in Maiduguri. The commander noted that the abducted persons were subjected to inhuman treatment in the hands of the insurgents.
Nicholas said that the abductees were rescued after troops dislodged and occupied Shekau’s group operational headquarters deep in Sambisa Forest. He revealed that the troops had destroyed insurgents’ hideouts, vehicles and ammunition, while hundreds of insurgents surrendered and over 100 civilians rescued.
According to him, the command would profile the rescued persons for rehabilitation and de-radicalisation for reintegration into the society. “I call on those still in the bush to come out; we are not killing anybody, we are here to rescue and assist you”.