Troops not deserting, says Nigerian Army
By Bade Ajayi
Nigerian soldiers are not deserting their formations, the Nigerian Army has said.
In a statement on Thursday, the Army dismissed as false claims that soldiers were running away from their command.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima in a statement made available to Irohinoodua said claims of desertion are false.
There were claims that some 100 Nigerian soldiers had deserted after the Boko Haram assault in Bornu State.
Yerima condemned publications in a section of the media alleging that over a 100 Nigerian troops were reported to have absconded after Boko Haram attacks on Marte and Dikwa.
Yerima said “This publication is false, unfounded and an attempt to malign the image and character of the Nigerian Army.”
According to him, in the fog of war, it is a routine that head count is conducted to determine the number of men and equipment holding aftermath of military offensive.
He said unfortunately, an internal correspondence that was originated by the formation was not properly done.
He said the Army later discovered that a good number of those affected rejoined their respective units and are currently part of the ongoing clearance operations.
“Members of the general public are please advised to disregard the story as the subversive intent of the promoters are targeted at dampening the morale and fighting efficiency of our troops. We continually solicit especially the much needed public support in the fight against Boko Haram.”
He said the Nigerian Army reassures the general public that troops are in high spirit and currently clearing areas infiltrated by Boko Haram terrorists/ISWAP.
“It is on record that the troops fought to defend the Internally Displaced Persons Camp and United Nations Humanitarian Hub in Dikwa. It is pertinent to also note that normalcy has returned to Dikwa and its environs” Yerima said.