According to the army, about 1,240 Boko Haram suspects were captured in the forest during a mop-up operation by the troops.
Ifeanyi Araraume, senator representing Imo North at the National Assembly, said he seen the victory as fulfillment of President Muhammadu Buhari's electoral promise.
However, Maj Gen Lucky Irabor, the Theatre Commander of Operation in Lafiya Dole. stated that:“We believe that the Holy Book and the flag
were abandoned by Abubakar Shekau while he escaped.
“The Book will be taken to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Burutai, for onward presentation to Mr President.
“We have also made a lot of arrests. Our troops in Damboa arrested about 15 Boko Haram members. We also arrested one Musa
from Potiskum on Christmas day which was Dec.25.
“On Dec. 26 our troops also intercepted two Boko Haram suspects in Maiduguri.
“We, therefore, warn residents of the state to
be wary of people coming to hide in and
around their houses.
The senator said “We are also warning residents to report any suspected Boko Haram members hiding in their houses to relevant security agencies. Any failure to do that would be tantamount to
supporting and sympathising with the sect's activit"
He told the newsmen that the arrested Boko Haram consists of 413 adults, 323 female adult, 253 female children and 251 male children.
He also said:“We are interrogating them to know whether they are Boko Haram members, because there is no way somebody that is not their member would live inside Sambisa forest.
“We are still on the trail of the terrorists and I want to assure you that all escape routes have been blocked. Within this period, also, about 30 fleeing suspected Boko Haram members have surrendered to the Niger Multinational Troops on the shores of the lake Chad and we learnt that they were taken to Difa in Niger Republic. “The suspects include; 24 male and six
“We would like to use this opportunity to encourage the terrorists to give up the fight because the window is still opened.
The chairman of APC, All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Araraume described the liberation of Sambisa forest as one of President Buhari achievement, saying in his statement yesterday that: '“President Muhammadu Buhari has accomplished a major electoral promise to defeat Boko Haram and enforce national security.”
He said: “The take over of Sambisa forest is a symbolism of a new dawn in the security sector, which will now prepare ground for economic recovery. Enhanced security will create enabling ground for flourishing of economic activities.
“Booming economic activities will result in new jobs and controlled inflation. Pain of recession will be gradually eased off and Nigerians will bountifully reap dividends of democracy.
“I call on Nigerians to support the Federal Government as it now focuses on economic recovery after it has crippled and wiped out that devastating insurgency. A Buhari who delivers on security promises will also deliver on economic recovery.”