Speaking at the handing over on Monday in Maiduguri, Deputy Theatre Commander, Joint Task Force North East Operation Hadin Kai, Maj.-Gen. Kenneth Chigbu, said they were rescued during the 10-day clearance operation in Sambisa.

“The people we are handing over today totalling 350 comprised six adult males, 134 females and 209 children found in Sambisa forest.

“This effort is a demonstration of professionalism exhibited by the joint task force.

“What you are seeing are people kept in the forest obviously against their wish,” Chigbu said.

According to him, apart from feeding, the army had carried out medical evaluation on them and is in the process of providing them with decent clothing.

Chigbu reiterated the commitment of the military to its mandate of ensuring that normalcy and peace returned to the north east.

He commended the support and cooperation of Borno Government, International Committee for the Red Cross and other international and local organisations.

Receiving the rescued persons on behalf of Borno Government, the Director, Social Welfare in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs Asabe Mohammed, said they would be taken to a rehabilitation centre.

“They would be documented, provided with mental health and psychosocial support, and trained in skills of their choice.

“We have about 10 different skills acquisition training for them to make their respective choices.

“They will be provided with tools at the end before linking them with their communities and families for reintegration,” she said.