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The Nigerian Army has expressed regret over the inaccurate release of information on the deadly Boko Haram terrorists ambush against oil exploration team to the Lake Chad Basin area of the North East Nigeria.
The Global Sentinel had in its report following the Army statement quoted a credible source, lamenting the fact that the number of casualties and hostages where omitted, especially the whereabouts of the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) staff and Civilian JTF (CJTF) as well as number of soldiers involved in the ill-fated mission.
But the Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Brig-Gen. Sani Usman, in a rare move admitted on Saturday that the military erred in releasing incomplete information to the public.
According to Usman, the incident of 25th July 2017 where some Boko Haram Terrorists ambushed our troops including members of the CJTF escorting some staff of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as well as that of University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) on oil exploration in Borno Yesu District of Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno state is unfortunate and highly regrettable.
“Most regrettable also is my earlier release on the said incident about the rescue of all NNPC Staff. The error in the statement was not deliberate,” he stated.
He stressed that “the Nigerian Army in this present dispensation is reputed for timely dissemination of information on activities of our troops in all theatre of operations. We have strived to keep the public informed on our activities with no intention of distorting any fact.
“Our troops have doubled efforts in the pursuit of the Boko Haram terrorists while search and rescue is still on-going to secure the safe return of the remaining civilians.”
The Army Spokesperson said that so far the search and rescue team has recovered additional bodies of 5 soldiers, 11 Civilian JTF and 5 members of the exploration team.
He however, clarifies that “contrary to reports in some media, 6 members of exploration team out of 12 that went out are still missing, while one of the NNPC staff returned to base alive”.
On the other hand, Usman said their pursuit team also recovered 2 of our own Gun trucks and an additional Toyota Buffalo Gun truck from the insurgents.
In addition, he said the team also made the following recoveries; 4 Rocket Propelled Grenade Bombs, 4 Rocket Propelled Grenade chargers, 6 AK-47 rifles, 1 Anti-Aircraft Gun, 1 General Purpose Machine Gun,1 Anti-Aircraft Gun Barrel, 1 Rocket Propelled Grenade Tube, 4 Dane Guns, 8 Tyres and 2 Tyre Rims.
He listed other items recovered to include 1 Pumping Machine, 2 Tyre Jacks, 1 Super Battery, 5 Reflective Jackets, 3 Toyota Hilux, 4 Jerry cans filled with PMS, 1 Motorola Radio, 1 Geographical Positioning System (GPS), 21 empty Jerry cans, 2 Shovels and 3 Food Coolers.
The DAPR said troops also recovered 122 rounds of PKM ammunition, 213 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, 1255 Anti-Aircraft Guns ammunition, 4 boxes of API 12.7mm ammunition, 1 AK-47 Rifle Magazine, a Digger, 2 Bows and 13 Arrows, 2 LLG Bombs, assorted drugs and assorted working tools.
“What the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists are doing are pure criminal activities of kidnapping to gain funds. This has been noted and will be jointly addressed in conjunction with other Security Services,” he said.
He said the Nigerian Army remains resolute in the fight against terrorism and would not relent in its effort to safe guard lives of citizens, properties and the territorial integrity of the country.
Meanwhile, the names of known UNIMAID staff abducted in the ambush includ:
•Mr. Militus taught me Crystallography & Mineralogy.•Mr. Yusuf taught me Sedimentology*•Mr. Solomon taught me Geophysics.Mr. Manaja also taught me Geophysics.Mr. Kolo was our technician in the Geochemistry lab.“They are all great people with an insightful mind that I still interact with up to date, always ready to listen and help out,” one of the concerned source said.
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