Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has declared claims that Boko Haram is providing humanitarian assistance to some communities in Borno as propaganda.
Buratai said this in response to questions from journalists in Maiduguri, yesterday, shortly after he visited the state governor at the Government House.
He challenged those who claimed Boko Haram was constructing boreholes and providing aids to some towns in northern Borno to come out with facts.
“I don’t believe these Boko Haram are building boreholes. Where will they get the drilling machine to move around without been identified?
“It is propaganda. Yes, they can get financial resources and probably tip some elements but give us specifics because we will not work on propaganda,” the army chief reiterated.
He also spoke on alleged pulling out of troops from some Borno communities. Buratai explained that the military is re-strategising, following recent attacks on Kukuwa, Gajiram, Kareto and Mongumeri.
“Military operation is scientific. We’re strategising and, I assure you we are containing the menace,” he said. He also said that troops are in these communities, contrary to fears by the people, about the military pull out of the areas.
“But then, the way things were before in these areas is not obtainable now,” he insisted.
The army boss said military operations cannot be carried out without looses and alleged most of reports often exaggerate casualties of.
Also reacting to reports about his comment on troops’ commitment in the counter-insurgency operation, the army chief said he was wrongly quoted.
“I never said in any comment that troops lack commitment. I was wrongly quoted and quoted out of context. Some even went beyond that to quote me that I said troops are cowards.
“This is far from the truth,” he said and explained that he made the comment at a training workshop organised to review and re-appraise military operations in the country, to find solutions to the challenges currently being experienced.
Buratai said terrorism and insurgency are national security challenges. He also appealed to the people to identify strange people in their communities and not wait till when the insurgents mobilise for attacks before they report their activities to the appropriate security agency.