THE Nigerian Army has reacted to the attack on its troops at Metele village in Guzamala Local Government Area of Borno State, insisting that the video in circulation, which was allegedly released by Boko Haram is fake.
In an unsigned statement posted on a Facebook page, the Nigerian Army said it observed that several social media, print and online publications have been brandishing false casualty figures, as well as circulating various footages of old and inaccurate Boko Haram propaganda videos and alluding same to be the attack on 157 Task Force Battalion.
“Whilst it is understandable how such misinformation can spread in this era of social media frenzy, the spurious circulation of some of these videos only contribute to further propagate the propaganda intent of the terrorists; to misinform the populace and portray themselves as what they are not. So far, the situation is that the location is under control, as reinforcing units have been able to repel the terrorists and stabilise the situation,” the Army said in the stateme
Explaining that the army has laid down procedures for reporting incidents involving its personnel who fall casualty in action, the statement said: “Out of respect for the families of our gallant troops, the NOKs are first notified before any form of public information, so as to avoid exacerbating the grief family members would bear, were they to discover such from unofficial sources.”
Meanwhile, the Army Command in Maiduguri has evacuated bodies of soldiers killed by Boko Haram insurgents. A military source, who disclosed this to journalists on condition of anonymity, said over 70 dead soldiers were evacuated to Maiduguri by the military after the Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole and the GOC, 7 Div on Friday went to Monguno to strategise and recover bodies of the slain soldiers.
The source added that more than 100 soldiers were feared dead in the attack.
It was also gathered that the first rescue and evacuation team was foiled after Boko Haram launched an attack that forced the troops into abandoning the mission.
President Muhammadu Buhari, had on Saturday expressed deep shock over the killing of military personnel in Metele village of Borno State by Boko Haram terrorists, assuring that immediate measures are being taken to ensure that the loopholes, which led to the fatalities, are blocked once and for all.
Reacting to the tragic incident in a statement by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President said his administration remains ever committed and focused on the security of military personnel and other citizens.
President Buhari said: “No responsible Commander-in-Chief would rest on his oars or fold his hands and allow terrorists endanger the lives of its military personnel and other citizens. Our loyal forces have proved their strength over the terrorists, and we are ready to give them all the needed support in terms of equipment and manpower to succeed in ending the renewed threat. In the coming days, I am engaging the Military and Intelligence Chiefs in extensive discussions on the next steps we shall be taking.”
The President noted that fighting terrorism has taken a global dimension, which necessitates international collaboration among states facing similar security challenges.