Abuja - The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) said allegations by Amnesty International that military top brass were warned of Boko Haram’s attack on Baga and Monguno but failed to take action, were misleading, unfair and distractive.
This is contained in a statement issued by Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, Director of Defence Information in Abuja on Wednesday.
Amnesty International on Wednesday claimed that Nigeria’s military top brass were warned of brutal Boko Haram attacks on the northeast towns of Baga and Monguno but failed to take action.
The statement said the conclusions by Amnesty International were misleading and could have been avoided if it had made meaningful efforts to verify the inciting allegations.
“Whatever be the intention, the allegations, at best can only constitute a distractive and misleading commentary or interpretation of the terrorists’ activities,” it said.
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The statement added that it was a misleading commentary to the efforts to curb the Boko Haram insurgency and the actual situation on the ground in Nigeria.
The statement said that the effort of Amnesty International to use activities of terrorists to find fault with the counter terrorism operations, as usual, was inaccurate and unfair.
The statement added that in actual fact, the protection of civilian population was the essence of the entire counter terrorism operation.
It said that the troops were prepared and duly engaged the terrorists in all the instances referred to by Amnesty International.
“Nigerian troops are conversant with the need to maintain the highest form of alertness always.”
“Every available information is factored into the intelligence that drives every engagement or encounter in any part of the mission area.”
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The statement said this standard had not only been sustained but incrementally enhanced in terms of capacity, troop’s deployment, coordination, mobility, protection and logistics.
It said that regular patrols, surveillance, pursuit and actual combat engagement to curtail or forestall terrorists’ activities and threats were also conducted.
“This has substantially succeeded in preventing, frustrating or minimising the effect of terrorists’ dastardly intentions and actions.”
“This also accounts for why the main intention of terrorists attack on Maiduguri and other places could not succeed.”
The statement added that the Nigerian security forces remained willing and capable of discharging the responsibility of defending the country's territory and people.
It added that every intrigue aimed at undermining the nation's capacity to handle its security challenges would surely fail.