By Adekunle Aliyu
The Defence Headquarters have refuted the claims by
Amnesty International that the Army was notified hours
before the Chibok attack and consequently kidnap of 276
girls in Borno.
This came as the Minister Of Information, Mr Labaran Maku
said on Friday that Federal Government will investigate the
Amnesty International report which indicated that the
Nigeria’s military had advance warning of the attack on
Chibok where the girls were kidnapped but failed to act
The DHQ in a statement signed by Chris Olukolade Major
General Director Defence Information/Coordinator stated
that the allegation by Amnesty International, that the
military authority was informed of the impending attack but
failed to nip it in the bud, is very unfortunate and untrue.
Much as the Nigerian military appreciates the global concern
and show of solidarity with the country at this trying
moments, falsehood should not be introduce as a means of
assessing the situation. It has to be categorically stated
that the claims by Amnesty International in its report that
security forces had advance warning about the abduction of
students of Government Secondary School Chibok, Borno State by terrorists is unfounded.
Contrary to the organisation’s claims, troops in Maiduguri did
not receive four hours forewarning about the attacks.
Rather, they received information of an ongoing attack on
Chibok community from troops on patrol who on noting the
attack engaged the terrorists and called for more
reinforcement to contain them.
As the troops on reinforcement traversed the over 120km
rugged and tortuous road from Maiduguri to Chibok, they ran
into an ambush by terrorists who engaged them in fierce
firefight and a number of soldiers lost their lives. Another
set of soldiers also mobilized for the mission arrived after
the terrorists had escaped due to a series of misleading
information that slowed down the pursuit.
It must therefore be clearly stated that contrary to the
claim by the Amnesty International, the information received
by troops at the Division Headquarters in Maiduguri was not a
forewarning but the call for reinforcement by troops on
patrol. Considering the vastness of the mission area,
deployment has been more of patrols than static.
The imputation of cowardice on the part of troops is
particularly confounding as the military has internal
mechanism to deal with such tendencies. These spurious
allegations are obviously a continuation of the campaign
intended to cause disaffection, portray the military in bad
light and undermine the counter-terrorism efforts.
Although the Chibok incident is still subject to more
investigation, the Defence Headquarters appeals to
individuals and organisations to refrain from circulating
spurious allegations that could undermine both the operation
and investigation of conduct of the mission generally.
Amnesty International in it report said that the Nigeria’s
military had advanced warning of the April 14 attack by Boko
Haram that led to the kidnapping of more than 200
schoolgirls but failed to take immediate action.
“Damning testimonies gathered by Amnesty International
reveal that Nigerian security forces failed to act on advance
warnings about Boko Haram’s armed raid on the state-run
boarding school in Chibok which led to the abduction,” the
rights group said.
Amnesty said it had verified the information about the
abduction with “credible sources”.
“Amnesty International has confirmed… that Nigeria’s military
headquarters in Maiduguri was aware of the impending attack
soon after 7:00 PM (1800 GMT) on 14 April, close to four
hours before Boko Haram began their assault on the town,”
the group said.
The military however could not assemble the troops needed
to suppress the attack, “due to poor resources and a
reported fear of engaging with the often better-equipped”
Islamists, according to Amnesty.
The 17 army personnel based in Chibok were overpowered
by the attackers and had to retreat, the London-based
group further said.
“The fact that Nigerian security forces knew about Boko
Haram’s impending raid, but failed to take the immediate
action needed to stop it, will only amplify the national and
international outcry at this horrific crime,” said Netsanet
Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Director for research
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