Nigerian military authorities have explained why troops deployed to Dapchi town, Yobe State were withdrawn shortly before Monday, February 19 invasion and kidnap of over 100 girls from a school in the community by suspected Boko Haram militants.
Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations and spokesperson for Operation Lafiya Dole, the code name for Nigerian military operations against insurgency in North east, made the explanation on Monday in response to claim by Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe that the withdrawal of troops was responsible for Boko Haram attack and abduction of female students from Government Girls Science Technical College in Dapchi.
“This allegation is not only unfortunate but also very far from the truth,” the Army spokesperson said in a statement.
While explaining reasons for the withdrawal, Colonel Nwachukwu said soldiers earlier deployed in Dapchi were redeployed for reinforcement duty at Kanama following attacks on troops' location at the Nigerian - Nigerien border.
“This was on the premise that Dapchi has been relatively calm and peaceful and the security of Dapchi town was formally handed over to the Nigeria Police Division located in the town. Troops' redeployment was therefore done in tandem with the exigencies of operation and not as misconstrued,” said the Army spokesperson.
“It is thus obligatory, to state that the allegation reportedly attributed to the Governor of Yobe state is misleading and misinforming. We reiterate our commitment and determination to carrying out our mandate to fight Boko Haram terrorists in the north east.
“We also implore members of the public to continue to support us with credible information on the whereabouts of the Boko Haram terrorists.
“We would also like to assure the parents, government and the good people of Yobe State and indeed members of the public that we will not rest on our oars in the search and rescue of the abducted school girls and any other persons held captive by the terrorists,” he added