3 August 2017

Nigeria: Military Reacts to U.S. Report On Boko Haram War

Photo: VOA
(file photo).

The Defence Headquarters has accused a section of the media of misinterpreting the "Country Reports on Terrorism 2016" recently released by the US Department of State.

The Director Defence Information, DDI, John Enenche, made the accusation in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that the part of the report which quoted the state department as saying that "the Nigerian military was unable to hold and rebuild civilian structures and institutions in those areas it had cleared" was misrepresented.

He said that such reportage was "detrimental to Nigeria's national security and interest."

He explained that it was the job of other security agencies to hold territories that had been recaptured.

Mr. Enenche said that the U.S. report which also covers Niger, Chad and Cameroon was not published with the objective of causing restiveness among the populace.

"It is to draw government attention to areas that could be improved upon to tackle global terrorism.

"After the decimation of the terrorist strongholds in the North-East, other security agencies such as the Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps have been taking hold of areas cleared by the military.

"That is why Adamawa and Yobe states have little incidents of terrorist acts in the recent past.

"Furthermore, rebuilding of civilian structures and institutions is not a military task. It is purely the responsibility of the government of which a lot is being done.

"The efforts of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states are evident in this regard," he added.

Mr. Enenche said that the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative, PCNI, was making positive efforts in that regard, as well as NGOs and well-meaning Nigerians.

He said that the Nigerian army had been involved in the construction of roads and bridges demolished by the terrorists.

Mr. Enenche said that contrary to what was published, the report commended the Nigerian Government which the military is a part.

"Clearly without ambiguity, it (report) stated the Nigerian Government actively cooperate with US and other international partners to prevent further acts of terrorism in Nigeria against US citizens, citizens of third countries, and Nigerian citizens," the defence spokesperson said.


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