Contrary to trending reports in a section of the social media that 20 soldiers were recently killed by the Boko Haram terrorists in the North East, the Nigerian Army has denied the claim, insisting that the report was far from the truth.
Recall that online medium, Sahara Reporters, had released a report last week where it claimed that about 20 soldiers serving in the Operation LAFIYA DOLE were shot dead by the terrorists, while it also berated the Army authority over what it called its silence on the matter.
But reacting to the trending report, new Director of Army Public relations, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yerima, said “there was no attack where 20 soldiers were killed in the entire Theatre.”
The Army spokesman said the report was only aimed at “discouraging the public and demoralising troops on the untiring efforts in the overall fight against insurgency.”
Gen. Yerima explained that the only recent encounter the troops had with the terrorist was when a group of the terrorists attacked troops providing security for road construction workers along Goniri-Kafa Main Supply Routes (MSR) on February 5, and the recent attack on Geidam on February 9, which, he said, were all decisively dealt with and repelled.
Brig. Gen. Mohammed Yerima, Director Army Public Relations
In a statement he issued and titled, “RE: Nigerian Army Keeps Mum As Boko Haram Terrorists Kill ’20 Soldiers’ In Borno/Yobe’, Gen. Yerima said that “The fight against insurgency in the North East Theatre of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has continued with renewed vigour and momentum in neutralising criminals and clearing the enclaves of Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs), Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and their collaborators.
“It is worthy to note that recently, the efforts in the fight was redoubled and recharged with tremendous and glaring successes recorded.
“BHTs/ISWAP members were seen running around for safety while their wives and children are coming out of the forest due to overwhelming pressure and fire by advancing troops in the Timbuktu Triangle as well as the Sambisa forest and aerial bombardments by the Air Task Force in its ongoing subsidiary operation code-named Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO in all the Sectors of the Theatre.
“It is, however, most unfortunate and disheartening as our attention was drawn to an unsubstantiated reports going round on social media by Sahara Reporters Titled: Nigerian Army Keeps Mum as Boko Haram Terrorists Kill ’20 Soldiers’ In Borno.
“The Nigerian Army wishes to state clearly that the story is false/fake and baseless aimed at discouraging the public and demoralising troops on the untiring efforts in the overall fight against insurgency. There was no attack where 20 soldiers were killed in the entire Theatre.
“For the records, recent events that occurred within the Theatre were professionally reported and documented by the Nigerian Army which includes the attack on troops providing security for road construction workers along Goniri-Kafa Main Supply Routes (MSR) on 5 February 2021 and the recent attack on Geidam on February 9, 2021, which were all decisively dealt with and repelled.
“The attack on the troops along the road construction site and the attempt to infiltrate Geidam town by the terrorists were swiftly and professionally cleared by the dogged Mobile Strike Teams (MSTs) and elements of 159 Task Force Battalion. However, regrettably three gallant soldiers paid the supreme sacrifice while 2 others sustained injuries and are receiving treatment at our medical facility.
“The BHTs and ISWAP are on the run and desperate for foods, drugs and logistics from soft targets for survival as their camps, routes and enclaves have been destroyed, blocked and manned by troops of Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO.
“Members of the general public are therefore requested to continue to cooperate with the Nigerian Military to fight both the terrorists and peddlers of fake and unsubstantiated stories as reported by Sahara Reporters and other unprofessional online news medium.
“We shall continue to remain focus and determined to perform our constitutional roles and responsibilities professionally in the protection of the sovereignty of our nation, ensure the safety of lives and property while we clear the terrorists and their cohorts within the region,” the statement said.