The Nigerian Army has debunked a report of ‘near mutiny’ by its soldiers in Borno state as published by some media outlets.
A report had made rounds that some irate soldiers prevented the acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 7 Division, Maiduguri, Brigadier-General Victor Eziegwu from leaving a remote Borno village when he went there on a helicopter to address them.
According to the report, the furious soldiers drawn from 154 and 155 TF Battalions, held their GOC over food and water shortage.
The allegation reads: “There is no food or water and because of the minefields around the area, the only means to enter Alagarno safely is by air. No vehicle can go in and out now because of the mines. Instead of them to use helicopters to supply us water and food as they did when mines were planted along Bama to Banki road, the GOC used a helicopter to come and address us over irrelevant issues, warning us unnecessarily rather than address issues bordering on our welfare.”
However, a statement issued by the Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman stated that the report is untrue.
Usman, while acknowledging that the troops that captured the strategic forest of Alagarno, experienced some logistics problem that include water shortage due to some unforeseen circumstances which is normal in war situation, discredited the report.
The statement read in part, “If Alagarno is truly inaccessible, how did the gallant troops rout out the Boko Haram terrorists in 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.
“Therefore, one begin to wonder what is the motive behind such false story by the reporter. For the avoidance of doubt, the Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division, Brigadier General VO 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 towards 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.
“Consequently, the Nigerian Army wishes to request the retraction of this story by the paper and also enjoin reporters to always cross check their facts before filing their stories. They should also understand that misinformation by Boko Haram terrorists and their sympathizers greatly assist their evil activities.”