Updated: I never said our troops ‘lack commitment’ to fight – Buratai

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai has said that he never said that troops fighting Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists in the North east lack commitment as being reported in some section of the media.

Buratai said this Monday while responding to question from journalists during his courtesy visit to Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, at Government House Maiduguri.

Some section of the media had reported that the army chief said troops fighting Boko Haram terrorists in the North east “lack commitment” during Army Headquarters Transformational Leadership Workshop for middle level officers and soldiers, organised by the Department of Transformation and Innovation, at the Army Resource Centre, Abuja.

But the Army Chief said he was quoted out of context by authors of the report in order to cause mischief.

He said: “Let me categorically state that I never said in my remarks that the troops lack commitment. It is completely wrong and I want to believe that I was somehow quoted out of context and probably with some elements of mischief.

“If you read the remarks which is published on our website you will see that there is nothing like lack of commitment in it. Some media house also went beyond that to quote me saying that the troops are cowards. This is far from the truth. It is unfortunate the way some journalists and newspapers go to the extent of distorting facts.

“The workshop was meant to reassess our operations and identify our challenges. It was also intended to ginger and rekindle our troops approach to the best way to deal with the insurgency.

The Army Chief identified lack of information from the population as a major hindering the fight against terrorism in Borno state.

Counter-insurgency is a complex operation and highly fluid. It involves an enemy that is not identified as it is not known with specific uniform like the troops,” he said.

“The enemies leave together with the population and move about everywhere; unless you can identify them and say these are the criminal you can’t be able to deal with them rapidly. The challenge is that if the population does not identify them and bring them out at the critical time the challenge of terrorism will continue and everybody will continue to suffer.

“The Boko Haram terrorists sneak into the towns and villages, and members of the communities see them,; they see strange faces among them but hardly report until they are attacked.

“So fighting Boko Haram is a collective responsibility. It is also a global responsibility and a national challenge. It is not meant for only military to tackle. And if we continue to distort facts and report negatively on the activities of the military we will all be consumed by this menace.”

Also reacting to the question, the Governor of Borno state charged the media to ensure that correct and factual information is disseminated to the public to guide against misinterpretation.

“ If we must criticise we must criticise for good; and when things

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