The Nigerian Army has dismissed reports that its officers and soldiers deserted after the Boko Haram attack on Marte and Dikwa communities in Borno State.
The record was allegedly contained in a signal released on the 1st of March from Operation Lafiya Dole Headquarters in Maiduguri. It was revealed that three majors, three captains, six lieutenants, three sergeants and 89 gallant soldiers fled in the aftermath.
But the Director Army Public Relations Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, in a statement, described the report as unfounded and an attempt to malign its image.
Yerima however blamed the misinformation on a faulty internal correspondence leaked to the media.
He said: “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a publication in a section of the media alleging that over 100 Nigerian troops were reported to have absconded after Boko Haram attacks on Marte and Dikwa.
“This publication is false, unfounded and an attempt to malign the image and character of the Nigerian Army.
“For the records, in the fog of war, it is a routine that headcount is conducted to determine the number of men and equipment holding aftermath of the military offensive.
“Unfortunately, an internal correspondence that was originated by the formation was not properly done. It was later discovered that a good number of those affected rejoined their respective units and are currently part of the ongoing clearance operations.
“Members of the general public are please advised to disregard the story as the subversive intent of the promoters are targeted at dampening the morale and fighting efficiency of our troops.
“We continually solicit especially the much-needed public support in the fight against Boko Haram.
“The Nigerian Army wishes to reassure the general public that troops are in high spirit and currently clearing areas infiltrated by Boko Haram terrorists/ISWAP.
“It is on record that the troops fought to defend the Internally Displaced Persons Camp and United Nations Humanitarian Hub in Dikwa. It is pertinent to also note that normalcy has returned to Dikwa and its environs”.