Monday, February 8, 2016 12:02 pm
The Nigerian Army said on Sunday that it is investigating attacks by Boko Haram terrorists on communities close to Maiduguri, Borno State where the insurgents have not only killed scores of people, but have also committed wide scale arson by burning down whole villages.
Over 100 people were killed, and all the houses burnt in one of the gruesome attacks at Dalori village, just five kilometers to Maiduguri.
The ability of Boko Haram terrorists to carry out such attacks have called into question the claims by the military and the Federal Government that the insurgents have been degraded.
The villagers have accused the military of total or delayed response when they passed on information or intelligence on impending attacks by the terrorists to soldiers.
Some of the villagers who feel the military have failed to protect them are already evacuating to nearby Maiduguri for safety.
But the Army, in a statement issued by the Colonel Sani Usman, its Acting Director of Public Relations said in on Sunday that it is also concerned about the attacks and has already commenced investigations into them
“All those found wanting will be dealt with in accordance with the Armed Forces Act.
“A standing Special Court Martial in the North East has already been established by the Nigerian Army.
“All cases of indiscipline and related acts of misconduct including human rights abuse in the operations will be tried by the this Special Court Martial,” Colonel Usman said in the statement.
He however denied speculations that Operation LAFIYA DOLE has been taken over by the Defence Headquarters and that soldiers are not happy about it.
“This is quite unfortunate and figment of imaginations of the respective media which was aimed at distracting the military, create rancour and disaffection among the components fighting Boko Haram terrorists,” said the Army spokesperson.
While explaining the true situation, Colonel Usman noted that since inception of the operation there has always been a hierarchy of command and control as in all military operations.
According to him, Armed Forces Act (AFA), Cap A20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004 in Section 7, clearly states the appointment of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and his powers.
He added that the CDS superintends over all the Services; Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and the Nigeria Air Force and the operation in the North East is not an exception.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), according to Colonel Usman, is responsible for all land operations and will continue to exercise that role and as may be directed by the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the Honourable Minister of Defence, the CDS or directly to the COAS as the case may be.
“Operation LAFIYA DOLE is essentially Land and Air operation.
“The Nigerian Army has the largest troops deployed and therefore the COAS has the responsibility for the operational, command, control and discipline of the Army.
“This the COAS will continue to exercise by himself or can delegate through his field commanders,” Colonel Usman further explained.
He therefore asked the public to disregard rumours and speculations on the alleged take over of the command and control of Operation LAFIYA DOLE and continue to support the fight against terrorism and insurgency.