Zulum’s Convoy Attack: Coalition Lauds Outcome Of Army’s Investigation

…Urges Troops To Remain Focused On Winning Counter-Insurgency War

The Coalition Against Terrorism and Extremism (CATE) on Wednesday, commended the Nigerian Army for the prompt probe of the attack on the convoy of Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, by Boko Haram insurgents.

The probe exonerated troops of any wrongdoing. 

The attack took place last month while Zulum was on his way to Baga, a town in the state, to distribute food items to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The governor later accused the military of sabotage in the attack, adding that some soldiers abandoned their duty posts and were busy farming and fishing.

While addressing journalists in Monguno after the incident, Zulum said: “As far as I am concerned, what happened in Baga is a complete sabotage by the military. There is no Boko Haram in Baga.

“I wonder, we have over 1,181 soldiers in Baga, 72 officers; 400 soldiers in Mile 4 and 1,900 soldiers in Monguno. I see no reason why only five Boko Haram men will stop them from occupying Baga town”.

CATE called on troops to remain focused and avoid distractions by mischief makers, whose aim it said was to blackmail and ridicule their efforts.

Recall that a detailed report found Zulum’s multiple allegations against the military as lacking in substance.

Deputy Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major Gen. Felix Omoigui, had last week revealed that: “Remarks of highly placed persons are capable of demoralising the troops which would negatively impact on operations and the confidence of the locals in the military.”

According to a statement by CATE’s National Coordinator, Gabriel Onoja, on Wednesday, the probe is a timely intervention by the army at the risk of some “unscrupulous elements” twisting the narrative to suit their motives. 

Onoja described the process as “fair and devoid of any form of interference.”

He said: “The Coalition Against Terrorism having followed the events that led to the attack and the subsequent investigations carried out by the Army authorities wishes to commend the leadership of the Nigerian Army for carrying out detailed investigations into the event and putting issues in proper perspectives for the benefit of the generality of the Nigerian public. 

“It is thus our considered opinion that the investigative process was indeed a timely intervention by the Nigerian Army at the risk of some unscrupulous elements twisting the narrative to suit their nefarious motives. 

“We consequently state that the process was fair and devoid of any form of interference, and the position taken by the Nigerian Army is indeed in the overall benefit of the country. This much those against the unity of Nigeria must come to terms with.

“The Coalition Against Terrorism wishes to inform members of the general public that the propaganda against the efforts of the Nigerian Army is gathering momentum daily with countless energies channelled towards blackmail and character assassination of the leadership of the Nigerian Army. 

“The irony of the whole situation is that the conspiracy against the Nigerian Army is coming from unlikely quarters and those with a vested interest in the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency currently ravaging isolated parts of Borno State”.

The coordinator, however, urged members of the public to continue to disregard unsubstantiated statements by individuals and groups that did not have the interest of the country at heart.

He further charged the troops to continue to give in their best until the remnants of the Boko Haram elements in Borno state were cleared. 

Onoja added: “We are by this medium asking well-meaning Nigerians to disregard statements credited to groups, individuals or organisations indicating complicity of the Nigerian Army in the attack on the convoy of the Borno State Governor in Baga, Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State.

“We, therefore, urge members of the unsuspecting general public to continue to disregard unsubstantiated statement by groups that do not have the interest of the country at heart and have been acting on behalf of the Boko Haram group to distract the Nigerian Army in its clearance operations in Borno State.

“The Coalition Against Terrorism wishes to encourage the officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army in the Theatre of Operations to continue to give in their best in service to fatherland until all the remnants of the Boko Haram elements in Borno State are cleared.”

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