THE Nigerian Army has refuted claims that they abandoned Dapchi at a time when they were most needed by the Yobe State community as recently alleged by Governor Ibrahim Gaidam.
The Army said that the governor was not correct in concluding that they abandoned Dapchi adding that they expected the men of the Nigerian police to have taken over their roles by protecting the place when they left.
According to the spokesman of Operation Lafia Dole, Col Onyema in a release, “the attention of Headquarters Theatre Command Operations Lafia Dole, has been drawn to a statement credited to Dr Ibrahim Gaidam, Governor of Yobe State, currently circulating in the media, in which he reportedly alleged that the withdrawal of the military was responsible for the recent suspected Boko Haram terrorists’ attack and abduction of female students from Government Girls Science Technical College in Dapchi.
“This allegation is not only unfortunate but also very far from the truth. Although this Headquarters will not attempt to join in any blame game, it is very expedient to set the record straight for the benefit of posterity.
“In carrying out its mandate to counter terrorism and insurgency in northeastern Nigeria, ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ has been alive to its responsibilities vis a vis the fight against Boko Haram insurgents. Several communities and Local Governments that were hitherto under siege of the insurgents have been liberated and the insurgents pushed out.
“While troops continue to trail and decimate the remnants of the insurgents in the hinterlands, the security of the liberated communities and towns fall in the hands of the sister security agencies.”
According to Nwachuku “The recent dislodgement and further decimation of the insurgents from their enclaves in the Sambisa and the Lake Chad Islands are testimonials to the effective operations of troops against the insurgents. Additionally, troops are regularly conducting long-range patrols, raids and ambushes to canalise and take out fleeing insurgents.
“Given all these efforts, it is very astonishing and shocking that such unfortunate comment and allegation is been touted against the loyal and dedicated troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.
On why the troops were moved out and the resultant attack by the insurgents, the spokesman said “Contrary to the comments being circulated, troops earlier deployed in Dapchi were redeployed to reinforce troops at Kanama following attacks on troops’ location at the Nigerian – Nigerien border.
“This was on the premise that Dapchi has been relatively calm and peaceful and the security of Dapchi town was formally handed over to the Nigeria Police Division located in the town. Troops’ redeployment was therefore done in tandem with the exigencies of operation and not as misconstrued.
“It is thus obligatory, to state that the allegation reportedly attributed to the Governor of Yobe state is misleading and misinforming. We reiterate our commitment and determination to carrying out our mandate to fight Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast. We also implore members of the public to continue to support us with credible information on the whereabouts of the Boko Haram terrorists.”
Nwachukwu said in the release that the theatre command assures the parents, government and the good people of Yobe State and indeed members of the public that they will not rest on their oars in the search and rescue of the abducted school girls and any other persons held captive by the terrorists.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has informed the general public, particularly candidates for the 77 Regular Recruit Intake exercise earlier scheduled to hold nationwide from Monday 26 February – Friday 9 March 2018 that the exercise has been postponed till further notice.
Although no reason was given, it said a new date for the screening exercise will be communicated in due course through the media and the Nigerian Army Recruitment Portal.