by Musa Abdullahi
The Nigerian military is obviously going through some stress in the counterterrorism due to unfair speculations and outright falsehood from foreign sources over operation of Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in combating insurgency in the North East.
Some unsavoury comments have been attributed to oftentimes unnamed officials of its neighbouring Francophone countries involved in the MNJTF obviously meant to disparage the image of Nigeria and bring its armed forces to ridicule.
If you missed the story earlier reported by NewsWireNGR, read Nigerian Soldiers Afraid Of Recaptured Towns, Chadian Military Alleges.
Investigations by PRNigeria, the Nigerian Government owned PR firm revealed that DHQ was especially piqued about distracting comments such as the one announcing that some of the cooperating countries have been entering Nigerian territory without Federal Government authorisation or that DHQ refused to respond to calls by MJTF partners to send troops to liberated communities.
A source disclosed that due to certain experiences in the past, DHQ had instructed troops never to leave any territory where they are stationed even in response to distress calls about terrorists’ invasion from unreliable and unverifiable sources.
“In the past, our troops had been lured away from liberated communities by unpatriotic elements to respond to distress calls only for them to either be ambushed on their way or for terrorists to be able to re-occupy those communities.
“We have then warned them to maintain their positions and hold every community that they liberate pending further official instructions and we expect MJTF partners to also keep their own part of the bargain in line with the memorandum of understanding that we all signed.”
An unnamed source from one of the countries was recently quoted to have accused Nigerian troops of disallowing some MJTF troops from entering a Nigerian community to battle terrorists but a top security source told PRNigeria that it was obviously a falsehood because that particular country’s troops have engaged terrorists inside Nigerian territory previously without any diplomatic faceoff because it was within the MoU.
Meanwhile in a tweet earlier today in response to another of such remarks, Defence Headquarters (DHQ)declared “There are lots of false information and irresponsible comments being attributed to some foreign sources which we want to avoid making comments to purely because we don’t believe such is coming from any serious and responsible officer of government.
“Responding to such claims could cause unnecessary distraction intended to jeopardise our counterterrorist campaign or operations. We will not respond for now.”