- Explains deployment of troops to Niger Delta
By Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja
The Defence Headquarters has said that the war against insurgency in the North East has led to some discoveries by troops, who noticed that dead Boko Haram fighters usually carry heavy cash on them.
â€œTroops recently found the sum of two million naira on one neutralised Boko Haram fighter in the theatre of operations in the North East and this has been the trend each time we search their fallen fightersâ€, Ag. Director, Defence Information, General John Agim, told journalists in Abuja.
He said the â€˜â€™Operation Whirl Strokeâ€™â€™ launched by the DHQ in the North-central and the North-west to check cases of attacks on communities was already yielding results with many armed herdsmen/militia either arrested or killed by Special Forces.
The Defence spokesman also gave reasons for the presence of troops in the oil-rich Niger Delta region, saying they remain deployed to take care of unforeseen developments.
He added that the presence of troops gives confidence to investors and businesses to remain in operation saying, the military cannot on their own withdraw from areas where operations have been concluded unless directed to withdraw.
Responding to the recent Amnesty Internationalâ€™s allegations of human rights abuses by soldiers, Agim debunked the claim, insisting that troops who flouted the military code of conduct were usually sanctioned.
He said the renewed allegations by AI were the same old issues, which the global human rights watch dog simply rehearsed to dent the good image of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
Members of the Special Forces, he explained, were drawn from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and Civil Defence and have been given fresh mandate to end the killings in Benue, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Zamfara and other trouble spots.
He further explained that in order to effectively check insecurity in the country, the military high command had suggested the need for a more robust policing of all border points and visitors in the country, stating that the military operation code-named â€˜Lafiya Doleâ€™ was still very active in the North-East and would continue to rescue victims and profile them before handing them over to the police.
On cooperation between the military and the media, Gen. Agim urged the media to support the military to overcome the internal challenges noting that the Defence Headquarters was planning to take some Journalists on a tour to Pakistan to learn more about media/military cooperation in war against insurgency.