The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has clarified the report that troops of Operation Lafiya Dole engaged in the war against Boko Haram terrorists, invaded United Nations (UN) house in Maiduguri, which is not true.
The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Maj-Gen. John Enenche , in a statement on Friday, said it
was a cordon and search operation conducted in that general area in line with the re-invigorated effort of the Military on Counter Terrorism operations in the North East as a whole.
Enenche noted that the house being referred to as United Nations building, is an unmarked accommodation without any sign that it was occupied by United Nations.
Notwithstanding, he said, the search operation was conducted peacefully at the premises, when the troops were allowed into it, just like other buildings.
The Defence Spokesperson assured that the relationship between the Nigerian Military and United Nations has been cordial, aimed at working towards a more secured world in general and Nigeria in particular, which will be sustained.
“Thus, everything will be done by the Nigerian Military to ensure that United Nations activities and interests are given adequate protection and encouragement,” he stated .
He requested the public to disregard the information that “United Nations building in Maiduguri was raided by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole”.
The Deputy Director of Army Public Relations (DDAPR), 7 Division Nigerian Army, Lt-Col. Kingsley Samuel, had in earlier statement said as part of ongoing counter insurgency operations, the Theatre Command Operation has been conducting several clearance as well as cordon and search operations in urban and rural areas within the Theatre.
Samuel said that the clearance operations effort has been yielding several successes.
He said that the search has forced the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) to change tactics and resort to employment of suicide bombers to target military locations and the populace.
Part of the e statement read: “This necessitated the need to intensify Cordon and Search in Maiduguri metropolis and environment.
“In the last one week cordon and search operations were conducted in Jiddari –Polo, Muna Garage, Jakana amongst several other areas.
On 10th August 2017, Theatre Command received information from one of its credible sources that some high value BHT suspects had infiltrated into Pompomari Bye Pass. “
“It therefore became expedient to take preemptive action by combing the general area through a cordon and search operations.
“The operation was successfully conducted as over 30 houses were searched. One of such included a property which was said to be occupied by United Nations Staff, although the property did not carry a UN designation.
On the whole, operation in the general area was successfully concluded but no arrest was made because the suspects were not found.”
He had assured the public that these operations are being conducted to safeguard lives and properties but not targeted at any individual or group.
The Spokesperson also “cautioned to avoid peddling rumours which may cause disaffection and to remain law abiding”.