The Nigerian Army said on Wednesday that the need to reduce collateral damage had delayed the recapture of some towns and villages seized by insurgents in Borno.
Brig.-Gen. Olajide Laleye, the
Director, Army Public Relations, gave the explanation while fielding
questions at news conference in Abuja.
“We are not interested in
collateral damage. The Nigeria Army is very careful about collateral
damage, to that extent our operations are carefully planned to make sure
that collateral damage is reduced to the barest minimum.
certain areas have not been recaptured it is because the Nigerian army
is giving such areas very careful plans, the plans are ongoing. At the
right time you will see the outcome; we will not tell you, of course,
before hand, of what we intend to do; but you will see the outcome,”
According to him, Nigerians will be pleased at the
end of such operations that collateral damage is reduced to the barest
He assured that law abiding Nigerians in those areas
would be rescued from the insurgents, while those towns and villages
completely freed from terrorism and insurgency.
Earlier, he said
Gombi, Hong, Uba, Makera, Holma and Vimtim, all in Adamawa, had been
recaptured, adding that the current military offensive would be
sustained until the enemy was “completely defeated”.
new strategies had been introduced in the ongoing war after formations
and units involved were evaluated, adding that this had impacted
positively on the counter-insurgency operations in the North East.
said that all officers and men involved in the operations in the region
would undergo counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency training before
being deployed in theatre of operation.
The army spokesman
explained that this followed the directive of the Chief of Army Staff
that all Divisional Headquarters should set up schools to step up
counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency and Special Operations training.
Nigerian Army wishes to restate its determination to bring this counter
insurgency and counter terrorism operations to a speedy and decisive
“Equally, the Nigerian Army seizes this opportunity to
reassure Nigerians of its preparedness to support relevant agencies in
the successful conduct of the 2015 general elections,” he said.
the ongoing Court Martial of some officers, Laleye explained that it
was necessary to enforce discipline in the armed forces and achieve
success in the war against insurgency.
He said success achieved so
far would not have been possible if the army do not undertake steps to
remain a formidable fighting force through time tested procedures and
enforcement of regulations.
“The judicial process that led to the
convictions and acquittals (of some officers) followed international
best practices in the military law and also conforms to relevant
“Let me state categorically that a General Court
Martial has the status of the High Court and is back by extant laws of
the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The General Court Martial is not
a final authority. Its processes are not only subject to confirmation
by the appropriate superior authority but also subject to appeal,” he