The military has denied reports that a Colonel, and 10 other officers of the Nigerian Army set ablaze Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) in order to pave way for Boko Haram to advance in Adamawa State.
The report by one of the dailies (not THISDAY) had it that the Army Colonel, some junior officers and soldiers who were taking part in the military offensive to reclaim communities taken over by the Boko Haram terrorists in Adamawa State, had been arrested for the alleged sabotage.
However, the Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Brig-Gen. Olajide Laleye, while responding to THISDAY inquiries on the matter yesterday, described the report as untrue.
According to Laleye, APC is a special weapon of dual purpose that could not just be easily be put on fire by any officer or personnel. He also clarified that the Army only made tactical withdrawal in accordance with the outcomes of the battle, explaining that it is derogatory to insinuate that the soldiers “ran away”.
“It is not true”, he insisted, adding, “it is not true in the sense that no APC was set on fire”.
He said: “No APC was set on fire, at all. There was nothing like that. So the report is not true. How can you say the military ran away (from battle) when such did not happen? There was nothing like setting on fire of the APC, because APC is a weapon on its own. Apart from the fact APC is used to convey troops to the theatre of operations, on its own it is a weapon. So no APC was set on fire”.
“Let us put it this way, to use the word ‘run away’ is unfair to the military. It can even be that the military in one of its operation made a tactical withdrawal. Yes it is tactical because withdrawal is a tactical maneuver that troops embark on to confirm to the higher commander’s directive or to confirm to the movement of the battle as it rages”, he noted.
Yesterday, some media report had it that a top military sources said the colonel (a Muslim) who was Commanding a team of three APCs, with the capability to fire up to a range of 1.5kilometres or even more, had instead of pursuing the terrorists, deliberately set the APCs on fire between Gulak and Madagali, before running away with his team of soldiers into the bush.
The report noted that the Army authorities were outraged over the development and ordered the arrest of both the commander, the junior officers as well as the soldiers under his command.
Source: This DayThis Day