We’re the Front Line Against Boko Haram, not Hunters – Nigerian Military

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan

In a rare show of rage and angry outbursts, the Nigerian military said in an unsigned statement posted on the official website of the Nigerian military today, 21 November 2014 that is leading the front line against Boko Haram terrorists, not the hunters.

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The statement claims that the exploits of the Nigerian hunters in their joint operations with the military to contain Boko Haram terrorists especially in Adamawa have been exaggerated and misrepresented by politicians to disparage, ridicule and depreciate the efforts of the military.

On 11 November 2014, in a joint operation of vigilante groups, hunters and the military, Chibok was recaptured from the control of Boko Haram. The terrorists, who abducted over 296 school girls in Chibok on April 14, 2014, had attacked and took control of the town on Thursday, 10 November 2014 after a battle lasting several hours. XCLUSIVE Magazine reported on yesterday, 20 November 2014 that Nigerian Army and the Families of Soldiers Killed by Boko Haram are at War! over the refusal of the Army to surrender bodies to relatives.

Leading elder Pogu Bitrus had told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the hunters fought inside the town while soldiers “stayed outside the town to mop up the insurgents trying to escape.” This was also widely reported in some local media. Many Nigerians capitalized on that media report to make jest of the military as incompetent, fearful and very unprofessional. Apparently, this has not gone down well with the military.

 Lt. Mayowa Areago, Col. Hope Yakubu Giwa, and Lt. A. Mudassir Died in Active Service

Lt. Mayowa Areago, Col. Hope Yakubu Giwa, and Lt. A. Mudassir Died in Active Service

The statement said: “All the flimsy and exaggerated claims of hunters’ exploits in the ongoing operations are simply intended to foster a mischievous campaign aimed at disparaging and depreciating the professional efforts of the Nigerian military at containing the terrorists especially in Adamawa. It is obvious that the intention is to ridicule and discourage the military. We are not moved.

“While appreciating the effort of the hunters and citizens who have been supporting our troops in the onslaught, the military still remains in the vanguard of the mission to rid the nation of terrorists and their activities. We will remain focused and utilize only well-meaning support and advice in the ongoing campaign to wipe out terrorists.”

“Much as we are aware of the politicians who are promoting the campaign for whatever reasons, we will not be distracted by their antics. The result of present efforts will soon manifest for the whole world to see and Nigerians and their military will not be diminished, as intended by those engaging in the campaign of calumny against the Nigerian military.

“We however caution Nigerians not to allow themselves to be hoodwinked into danger by some false reports on so called liberation of certain areas by ‘hunters’ as we can only vouch for areas where the military has reported cleared of terrorists.”

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