The Nigerian Army has debunked reports credited to a Chadian Army Officer that the Chadian forces were in some parts of Nigerian territory along the fringes of the Lake Chad area.
The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, disclosed this during a press briefing at Army Special Forces Super Camp at Ngamdu in Kaga Local Government Area of Borno on Friday.
Musa said that the clarification was necessary to correct the impression that the Nigerian forces were not physically present in some areas around the Lake Chad area.
According to him, the press statement was allegedly made in Baga-Sola Headquarters of Sector 2 MNJTF in Chad by the Chadian senior officer, one Colonel Azem Banadua Aguna, on the 9th of April 2020.
He explained that the Nigerian military and the Chadian forces have been working together under the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) which has its Headquarters in N’Djamena, Chad.
“The Nigerian Army’s attention has been drawn to the said statement now circulating on social media claiming that the security and Defence forces of Chad are deeply stationed in the islands of Niger and Nigeria wanted to handover to the respective army (sic) of these friendly nations.
“Nigerian Army wishes to state that there is no Chadian or any other foreign country’s troops on Nigerian side of the Lake Chad or in any other part of the Nigerian territory.
“As a responsible organisation, the Nigerian Army finds it necessary to clear the wrong impression or misinformation for history and posterity as well as to avoid spreading falsehood and mischievous publications,” he said.
Colonel Musa stressed that the Chadian operation at their side of the Lake Chad area was with the knowledge and support of Nigeria in line with the existing multilateral co-operation between the countries.
He added that the support was in honouring and furtherance of the existing multi-lateral cooperation between the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) countries under the MNJTF.
“The operation was especially welcomed and supported by the Nigerian Army because it would deny the insurgent’s rear and logistics bases in Chad from where they often plan and launched attacks into Nigeria.
“It is hoped that the Chadian forces will sustain operations on their side of the border to permanently deny Boko Haram criminals of rear bases from where they can launch operations into Nigeria.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Chadian Operation BOMA WRATH took place only in Chadian territory and not on Nigerian territory.
“The Chadian security and Defence forces did not cross into Nigerian territory during the operation and thus there are no Chadian troops holding any Nigerian territory.
“The Nigerian Military is fully committed and in total support of the continued cooperation between Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria to finally and speedily decimate Boko Haram/ISWAP Criminals and put final end to terrorism in the region.
“Members of the public are requested to disregard the claim and misleading information that – “the Chadian security and Defence forces are deeply stationed in the islands of Nigeria waiting to handover,” he said.
It would be recalled that the controversial statement credited to the Chadian Defence authorities had been in circulation on different platforms since Thursday April 9, 2020.