By Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Nigerian Army has denied reports that several of its soldiers were either killed or wounded in Boko Haram terrorist attacks in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State.
The Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Brig-Gen. Texas Chukwu, in a statement Monday, said the news making the round alleging attack on soldiers and capturing of military vehicles by Boko Haram were exaggerated.
He was categorical that the report is not only untrue but misleading as the said report is blown out of proportion by the media, stressing that it was only one officer and soldier that were injured in the attack.
Contrary to the report, he said the Nigerian Army wishes to put the records straight on the issue and assure members of the public particularly residents of the North-east to disregard the report as their safety is guaranteed.
He stated that there was an attempted attack on troops at Kwakwa and Chingori communities in Bama area of Borno State by suspected Boko Haram terrorists as a result of the difficult terrain “where our vehicles bugged down”.
According to him, the terrorists also attempted to cart away the troops’ operational vehicles, but were successfully repelled by “our gallant troops with the support of the Nigerian Air Force”.
He said: “About 22 members of Boko Haram terrorists were neutralised while several others escaped with gunshot wounds. Efforts are being intensified by the troops to get the fleeing members of the Boko Haram terrorists.
“Unfortunately, one officer and a soldier sustained injuries and are currently receiving medical attention at the military medical facility.”
Chukwu stressed that while the Nigerian Army would not join issues with the media, certain facts must be reported with caution particularly now that numerous successes have been recorded by the troops in the fight against insurgency.
He urged members of the public to disregard the report and go about their legitimate businesses as the Nigerian Army is on top of the situation.
He also advised media practitioners to endeavour to verify facts from the appropriate military authority before rushing to the press.