The dreaded Boko Haram terrorist group has continued to recruit children and use them on battlefields across Nigeria following the recent mass surrender of their fighters to the military.
A military source revealed to SaharaReporters that the recruitment of child soldiers by Boko Haram was part of its new strategies.
He said, “Let me give you a background of how they do it, (it applies to) any crisis in the world, it’s not only Boko Haram, I was in many countries for peacekeeping. So, when they enter a village, they will look at the younger ones because the older people can’t do anything. They are old, they can’t fight a war, so they will take the younger ones from age of nine up to fifteen and seventeen. They will start training and injecting them into the battlefront.
“That’s how they do, they drug them, they put them into hardship, they give them Indian hemp, cocaine, it’s not really their fault. They promise these children protection, purpose, food and security in return for their services. That’s how they recruit because they are ruthless, they don’t care about their age.
“Parents should be careful, they (Boko Haram) don’t have age limits in their recruitment. They use them for various operations where they fit in. If you see a small Boko Haram boy, you won’t know but he is well trained. Those are the ones the United Nation are shouting about.”
Recall that Governor Babagana Zulum had last year disclosed that the group was recruiting children in Borno State.
He had said, “The only solution we have now is to ensure the safe return of our people to their homes in a dignified manner. If nothing is done, believe me sincerely, we shall face a very serious challenge even more than what we are facing now.
“This is because right now the insurgents are recruiting many of our children into the sect because of the increasing unemployment rate.”