Troops Fighting Boko Haram In North East Not In Deplorable Situation- Minister 

Yemisi Izuora 

The Federal Government has denied an online publication alleging

deplorable conditions of the troops fighting Boko Haram in the North

East, saying the report is a classic example of fake news.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of

Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in view of the grave

security implication of the allegations contained in the publication, President

Muhammadu Buhari ordered an investigation to determine its veracity.

“Gentlemen, the investigation has since been concluded and, in line

with the transparent stance of this Administration, I have invited you

here today to share with you the outcome. The summary of the findings

is that there is no case of hunger, starvation or begging among the

troops fighting in the North East, and in particular in the Armed

Forces Special Forces Battalion that was referenced in the

publication.

”There is also no irregular/short payment of allowances, while claims

of poor equipment, inadequate kitting and accommodation are found to

be ill conceived and unfounded,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said contrary to the publication, the troops in

question, deployed at Brig.-Gen. Maimalari Secondary School along

Gubio Road, are being fed centrally three times a day, and are kitted

immediately after their training before they are deployed in the

theatre.

“How then can soldiers who are fed centrally be starving or begging

for food? Concerning the payment of allowances, the monthly allowances

of troops of the AFSF Battalion are being paid directly into their

various accounts from the Defence Headquarters, hence they cannot be

shortchanged,” he said.

On the allegation of poor equipment and inadequate kitting, the

Minister said it was found that the inflow of logistics into the

theatre in the past six months showed an enormous quantity of materiel

was distributed to troops in the theatre.

“If anything, the publication in question exhibited poor understanding

of what obtains in the theatre of military operations. For example,

the claim of poor accommodation in an operational environment. By

their training, soldiers in theatres of war are usually in trenches,

tents or other makeshift structures. Fighting insurgency is not a walk

in the park and the gallant men and women in uniform who are engaged

in counter-insurgency operation in the North East are not on a

luxurious expedition. The battlefront is no playground,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed warned that engaging in fake publication about the

troops is not only a great disservice to the nation, but a terrible

downplay of the kind of sacrifices being made by the gallant troops in

fighting the insurgency.

He said such fake reports amount to collaborating with fifth

columnists and enemies of the nation to weaken the fighting spirit of

our forces, and represent a clear and present danger to the nation’s

security.

While restating the administration’s belief in the freedom of the

press, the Minister appealed to the media to always commit to the

highest standards of journalism by double-checking with the government

before publishing any information from the theatre of operation in the

North East.

Add Comment