The Nigerian Army headquarters in Abuja has debunked reports that Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) were distributing Ramadan welfare packages to some residents of Borno and Yobe states.
Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Mohammed Yerima, said there was no truth to the report by an online publication, and advised the public to disregard it.
Gen. Yerima described the publication as a piece of propaganda meant to distract the populace away from the recent defeats being suffered by the terrorists and their cronies.
The statement made available to Daily Sun reads: ‘The attention of the Nigerian Army (NA) has been drawn to an ill-informed publication by an online news medium Sahara Reporters of May 11, 2021, where it was alleged that Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province had distributed Ramadan welfare packages to some residents of Borno and Yobe states. The article went on to give breakdown of the food items distributed, including cash, which the publisher alleged was meant to entice the locals to join the terrorists’ ranks. The article then switched to speak on the 2019 report of International Crisis Group, which tended to pour encomiums on the terrorists recruitment system since breaking away from the Abubakar Shekau’s faction. Unfortunately, the article did not mention any specific location where the alleged distribution took place.
‘The NA, being a professional organisation, decided to look at the article with every seriousness with a view to making intelligence out of it. However, our analysis established that there was nothing substantial about the claim except that it was a hurriedly packaged piece of propaganda that was meant to distract the populace away from the recent defeats being suffered by the terrorists. It is a notorious fact that the terrorists at various times have made several attempts to make the lives of the residents of these states miserable through the Ramadan season, which were met with overwhelming response from the troops of Operation Hadin Kai. The most recent of such being their failure to sneak into Maiduguri on May 11, 2021, the same day this ill-conceived article was published. The fate of the terrorists that made that audacious attempt is already public knowledge.
‘The author of this article displayed his/her clear lack of situational awareness by getting designation of the various terrorist groups muddled up. In the self-styled amateurish publication, there was no single mention of any community that the said distribution took place in, which is indicative of the fact that there was indeed no community or village where such activity took place. The writer consciously omitted such an important part knowing that once a name is attached to the publication it would be much easier to unravel the motive behind it, which is simply to mislead the unsuspecting readers.
‘Our team of eagle-eyed analysts went further to critically examine the pictures attached to this malicious publication and discovered that they were simply stage-managed in a typical terrorist-styled propaganda. The uncoordinated director of the photo shoot presented the pictures according to his IQ and decided to measure the standard of the Nigerian public from his own personal standing. He used two poorly constructed shacks sited in the wilderness in multiple scenes by simply changing the arrangement of items and introducing different faces to make it look like an existing structure. He later posted a truck loaded with bags and a few terrorists on it parked in the middle of nowhere. A closer look at the background of all the pictures clearly showed an empty forest with no signs of human habitation or activity except the few terrorists and some children that must have been forcefully taken away from their parents. These facts, therefore, met every known style of the terrorists’ propaganda.
‘The million-dollar question here is why the choice of Sahara Reporters as the medium to propagate such unfounded piece that failed every test of professional journalism? Could it be that the terrorists find the media outfit fertile enough for propagating their devilish stories? These are questions that demand answers from the publishers of this piece of disinformation.
‘The NA, therefore, calls on the general public to disregard this article as it is nothing but a tissue of lies aimed at misleading them. The NA, under the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, will continue to maintain the pressure on the remnants of terrorists hibernating in the forests around the northeastern borders until they are completely obliterated.”
Insecurity: NA begins training for brigade commanders, GOCs to deal with menace
The Nigerian Army has begun training for brigade commanders and General Officers Commanding (GOCs) across the country in order to have a better outcome in the fight against insurgency, banditry, as well as terrorism, and effectively deal with the nation’s security challenges.
The two-day seminar, titled “Enhancing the Capacity of Nigerian Army Senior Level Field Commanders for Optimal Performance in a Complex Operational Environment,” which commenced on Tuesday, took place at the headquarters of 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt- Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, who declared the First Senior Command and Leadership Seminar open, said the Nigerian Army under his watch was desirous of meeting the expectations of Nigerians at addressing security challenges in the country.
He charged the GOCs and the brigade commanders to key into his mission and rededicate themselves to driving the process towards attainment of the desired goals and objectives.
Attahiru noted that, “I want you the officers to understand that our dear nation is facing formidable and unprecedented attacks from non-state actors and security threats that are unstructured. The impact is being felt on the land, sea and cyber domain.
“We must continue to device multi-faceted approaches, multi-disciplinary dimensions to defeat them. Training like this seminar creates fora for senior commanders of the Nigerian Army to frankly share experiences, identify gaps in our operations and gain experiences.”
Attahiru, however, stated that challenges have always been part of life that organisations or countries pass through, adding that challenges are meant to be subdued based on the determination of all stakeholders. He assured Nigerians that the country would surmount its security challenges.
The COAS said further: “Upon assumption of office as the 21st COAS, conscious of the growing threats in the national security, I identified the compelling needs to urgently reposition the Nigerian Army to effectively conduct operations in order to detect the threats and curtail the security challenges facing the country.
“I articulated my mission to have a Nigerian Army that is professionally repositioned to detect all threats in a joint environment, in line with my vision, hinged on eight leadership goals.”
Attahiru celebrates Sallah with troops in North East, inaugurates accommodation for soldiers
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru, has again reinstated his committment to improve the welfare of troops and their families to enable them give their best in the ongoing counter-insurgency war in the North East. Attahiru gave the assurance at Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri, Borno State, during his sallah visit to celebrate with troops on the frontline.
The army chief, who used the occasion to congratulate the troops for adequately taming the terrorists, urged them not to relent to bring the counter-insurgency war to an end in the shortest possible time.
The COAS, who inaugurated two blocks of officers’ and soldiers’ accomodation during the visit, said one of the cardinal points of achieving his vision for the Nigerian Army was to improve troops’ welfare, especially those at the frontline. He added that more accomodation for troops would be constructed across the barracks in the country.
Gen. Attahiru also approved the issuance of two 100KVA generators to provide backup power for the new accommodation, just as he promised to support Operation Hadin Kai with better platforms that will expidite the defeat of terrorists across the North East and Nigeria at large.
On arrival in Maidugiri, Gen. Attahiru and his principal staff officers from Army Headquarters were hosted to an operational update by the theatre commander, Major General Farouk Yahaya.
The COAS thereafter hosted troops, including wounded and recuperating men, to Eid el-Fitr luncheon, where he personally served the troops with lunch and drinks. He prayed for speedy recuperation of the troops and assuref them of his support at all times.
Army destroys unserviceable ammunition, explosives in Owerri
The Nigerian Army has commenced the destruction of unserviceable rounds of ammunition and explosives at Obinze, Owerri, the Imo state capital. It said the destruction of the unserviceable explosives had become necessary to prevent them from exploding, having stayed too long. The exercise, which is being conducted by the 82 Base Ammunition Depot, Enugu, from May 14 to May 21, would take place between 7am and 5pm daily. It has, therefore, advised people of the area not to panic over the sound of the blasts during the destruction.
This much was made known by the Acting Assistant Director of Army Public Relations, Lieutenant Babatunde Zubairu, in a statement.
“The people of Obinze and surrounding communities are advised to keep away from the range area during the period of the exercise.
“This is not a cause for alarm as the Nigerian Army remains committed to the safety of Nigerians,” Zubairu said in the statement.