Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
Defence Headquarters (DHQ) was non-committal yesterday on the issue of deployment of Chadian troops to assist the military in the fight against insurgency in the North-east.
Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, whose convoy was attacked by insurgents twice last week had called for the return of Chadian troops.
Chadian troops, part of the multi-national Joint Task Force (MNJTF), were withdrawn from the North-east early in the year.
Responding to questions on Zulum’s request at a media briefing in Abuja, the Coordinator of the Directorate of Defence Media Operations (DDMO), Major General John Enenche, said the matter of whether or not Chadian troops would be deployed would be handled at a strategic level.
“I’m not authorised to speak on anything that involves the Multinational Joint Task Force.
“Any issues on strategic level, we are not empowered to talk on it until it comes down to operational level,” he said.
Zulum had told a delegation of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum that paid him a solidarity visit after the attacks that the military needed the assistance of Chadian troops to reverse the escalating insurgent attacks in the North-east.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, had in a recent interview said that the original deployment design of the MNJTF was to have Chadian troops on Nigerian soil.
Buratai, who was head of MNJTF then had argued against the plan over the implication for national security and the nation’s sovereignty.