Some people claiming to be members of the Nigerian Military have suggested that Boko Haram militants killed over a hundred of Nigerian troops in an attack on a remote military base in Borno state.
ISWAP in Al-Naba also claimed Friday that it carried out attacks on a military base in Metele, on 18th and a second one on 19th/20th, when the military went to collect the fallen comrades. In all, the terror group claimed to have killed 100 Nigerian soldiers.
In the five-minute video seen by AFP on Saturday, an individual who came across as a soldier narrating in the background shows the alleged burnt shells of several tanks and vehicles at the Metele base, which was claimed to have been attacked by the IS-affiliated Islamic State West Africa Province on November 18.
“See the weapons they bring here. These are not working,” claimed a voice behind the video.
These are outdated vehicles, they are not working. They just keep them here for formality,” boasted the acclaimed soldier.
“Imagine, they are killing us every day,” he said. “The situation is getting worse.”
The fatigued, ill-equipped troops have reached breaking point, they said, although without verifiable evidence to support their tall claim.
“The situation in the northeast is deteriorating,” claimed one security source, speaking on condition of anonymity with Reuters last week.
“They are running out of weapons, ammo and basic equipment. They are exhausted.”
However, the Nigerian Army has warned against the spread of fake videos of troops, apparently discrediting the claims made against the troops and equipment.
The army on its official Facebook page said on Saturday that it would henceforth report and file cases against individuals or groups who deliberately spread fake news that aims to undermine national security, in courts. We, in Peoples Daily, are completely in support of this.
“It is indeed shocking to see how these well doctored propaganda materials from enemies of the state have succeeded in creating fear and unrest in the polity. These doctored materials are obviously serving the purposes intended by the terrorists to mis-inform the populace, spread panic, hatred, religious intolerance and above all to undermine national security.
“The army wants to categorically state that the videos and images making rounds as the purported attack on Metele base are false and do not in any way portray the reality of the situation on the ground”.
We back with the position of the Army, especially against the background that some internal and external forces might be frustrating the progress on the war against terror in the country.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had noted Wednesday, November 21in Abuja that “Government is convinced that these security challenges are rooted in both internal and external factors. Most importantly, government is also convinced that finding sustainable solutions to these challenges will require the support and collaboration of security agencies and community.” The president spoke while receiving the report of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Plateau State.
We urge the Army not to spare efforts in getting to the roots of the Metele confusion. If it finds any complicity on the part of the troops, it must not hesitate to expose them and apply the military rules. And if, indeed, the said controversial video is established to be false, we urge that the culprits be treated as terrorists, just like hate speech practitioners.