Saturday, April 2, 2016 8:42 pm
There was no truth in the report about a protest by a group of soldiers over lack of water and other logistics at Alagarno forest, in Boko Haram heartland.
A statement from the army spokesman, Col. Sani Usman in Abuja on Saturday emphatically denied the report and described it as false and misleading, likely orchestrated and planted in the media by those sympathetic to the course of the insurgents.
He said that at no time did soldiers block the convoy of the General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Brig.-Gen. Vincent Ezugwu, who visited the troops in the Alagarno forest.
Usman said though the troops had experienced some logistics challenges, they never behaved in the manner reported by the online medium.
“While acknowledging that indeed troops that captured the strategic forest of Alagarno experienced some logistics problem that included water shortage, which is normal in war situation, it is not true that the troops behaved in the manner reported.”
Usman also debunked an aspect of the report that the soldiers were trapped as Boko Haram had ringed their location with mines.
“If Alagarno is truly inaccessible, how did the gallant troops rout out the Boko Haram terrorists from the forest?
“The concoction of this story and the release of yet another video by some remnants of Boko Haram terrorists could be more than mere coincidence,” the army spokesman said.
Usman said that contrary to the report, the GOC on his visit to the troops’ location took water and other items to them.
He added that the GOC joined the troops in one of the clearance operations in the forest.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division, Brig.-Gen. V.O. Ezugwu indeed visited the troops and also supplied water to them.
“The GOC did not leave the troops as insinuated. Rather, the troops hailed the GOC for his passion and empathic disposition toward the soldiers.
“As a matter of fact, he actively participated in clearance operations along Bulablin-Alargano axis with the troops and was with them in their defensive location throughout.”
Usman called on journalists to always cross check their facts before filing their stories to avoid such factual errors.
He urged the public to disregard the story and continue to support the Nigerian Army in the fight to end terrorism in the country.