24 November 2018

Nigeria: Buhari Summons Service Chiefs Over Metele Attack - Army

President Muhammadu Buhari has summoned service chiefs to an emergency security meeting over the reported killing of some Nigerian soldiers by Boko Haram sect along the Nigeria-Chad border on Sunday.

Newsmen reliably gathered that the urgent meeting was necessitated by the latest security development across the battle fields in the North East region of the country.

A reliable source, who preferred not to be named, confirmed this development to newsmen in Abuja on Friday.

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Pressmen learnt that Federal Government pronouncement on the latest victims of Boko Haram insurgency was being delayed because families of the victims were being identified and contacted.

"The president has called an urgent meeting with the service chiefs.

"And the families of the latest victims of the Boko Haram are being identified and contacts made before a government pronouncement on the tragic attacks.

"This, we understand is the reason for the silence of the government over the incident," the source added.

It would be recalled that Buhari had earlier dispatched the Minister of Defence, retired Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali, to Chad for an emergency meeting with the Chadian President, Idris Deby, on the insecurity at the Nigeria-Chad border.

Dan-Ali had on Thursday briefed the president on security development across the country including the recent killing of some Nigerian soldiers by the Islamic West Africa Province, a breakaway Boko Haram sect, operating along Nigeria-Chad border.

AFP had quoted security sources on Nov. 21, saying no less than 44 soldiers were killed during the attacks, which occurred at Metele, a remote village bordering Nigeria and Chad.

Diplomatic sources, however, told newsmenthat the minister of defence would also be meeting his Chadian counterpart during his mission to Chad, to identify what had led to the recent increase in Boko Haram terrorism in the area.

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The sources, who preferred not to be named, said: "Nigeria has a Chad problem in the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF).

The source said that force was put together to secure the Lake Chad Basin area and repeal the Boko Haram terrorism attacks against all the countries neighbouring the lake.

According to the sources, Chad is believed to have its own internal security challenges and this has reportedly led to pulling away the troops manning that country's border around Lake Chad.

"That lacuna is being exploited by the Boko Haram terrorists, who go in and out of Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon to launch terrorist acts.

"This is a clear illustration of the fact that terrorism is beyond national borders," the sources added.

Reacting, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said he was aware that the defence minister would be going to Chad, adding, "I'm unaware of his mission there".


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