Why we can’t overrun Boko Haram in Gwoza, Bama, others – Nigerian Army

The Nigerian Army said on Wednesday that the need to reduce collateral damage has delayed the recapture of some towns and villages seized by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State.

Olajide Laleye, the Director, Army Public Relations, gave the explanation while fielding questions at a news conference in Abuja.

“We are not interested in collateral damage,” Mr. Olajide, a Brigadier General, said. “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.

“If 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, beforehand, of what we intend to do; but you will see the outcome,’’ Mr. Laleye said.

The Nigerian military lost several towns to Boko Haram in Borno and Adamawa States during weeks of sweeping takeover by the insurgent group.

Backed by local militias, the military recovered some key towns in Adamawa State, including Mubi and Hong.

Other local areas such as Michika remain under Boko Haram, while the militants also control large parts of Borno State, including Bama and Gwoza.

Mr. Laleye’s comments Wednesday were the first official explanations from the army why the insurgents have continued to control several towns despite the the military’s claim that it has the capacity to clear the insurgents from the northeast.

The comments also clearly refuted the claim by a presidential aide, Doyin Okupe, who said two weeks ago on television that government forces had since reclaimed Gwoza, Bama and other towns from Boko Haram.

According to Mr. Laleye, Nigerians will be pleased at the end of such operations that collateral damage is reduced to the barest minimum.

He assured that law abiding Nigerians in those areas would be rescued from the insurgents, while those towns and villages would completely be 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’’.

Mr. Laleye said 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.

He said all officers and men involved in the operations in the region would undergo counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency training before being deployed in the theatres 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 for counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency and special operations training.

“The Nigerian Army wishes to restate its determination to bring this counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations to a speedy and decisive end.

“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.

On the ongoing court-martial of some officers, Mr. 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 did not take 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 Nigerian laws.

“Let me state categorically that a General Court Martial has the status of the High Court and is backed 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 said. (NAN)


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  • The_Flying_Dutchman

    Yet another misleading caption by PT!
    “Why we cannot overrun BH in Bama, Gwoza, others”.
    Yet all the director of public relations said was;
    ‘IF CERTAIN AREAS HAVE NOT BEEN RECAPTURED, IT IS BECAUSE THE NIGERIA ARMY IS GIVING SUCH AREAS VERY CAREFUL PLANS’!

    So how in heavens name does ‘certain areas’ become Bama, Gwoza and others?? Why should PT go a step further and claim the spokespersons comment ‘refutes’ Okupe comments that Gwoza and Bama have been recaptured??
    The spokesman said NOTHING about gwoza and Bama! So how did PT come up with this?? Do they have any of their journalists on ground??
    WHOSE INTERESTS ARE PT SERVING BY CONSISTENTLY FEEDING THE GULLIBLE WITH MISINFORMATION??
    This is coming at a time the smoke has not even cleared over the monumental embarrassment of telling the gullibles led by wahala and TundeMESS that Aisha Osori defected to APC after ‘winning’ the PDP ticket for the AMARC Constituency!
    PT, na una body go tell una o!

  • 123maina_76

    Only Allah saved Damaturu few weeks ago, else the town would have been another boko haram territory. The more the Nigerian Army delay in recapturing the lost towns, the more collateral damages remain eminent.

  • the truth

    I employ everyone to go to youtube and type”General Mohammed buharis post election reign of terror” be the judge after watching what buhari told nigerians to do to fellow nigerians

    • PureNigerian

      If you are lying which you are, may you never know peace. May what befall BH victims befall you and your entire family

    • CFS

      I implore not employ….

    • Wähala

      Is that the topic? Thema is the Army and Boko Hara, not Buhari and 2011 elections. Why didn’t you refer them to the PDP’s rigging machine also there on YouTube, career liar? A chameleon can change many times, but it still remains an animal… Happy New Year!

    • Zarto Ali

      What has that got to do with the issue in question. Sad.

    • endingNaija

      Reno WENDEL Omokri the “truth” na the falsehood na Reno Omokri na otile na oleku na Gideon Orkar na Tawanda

    • Okemute1

      My guy when will you give up? Don’t you see what we are seeing? This is a losing battle. Gej is toast!

      • Mr fake u will get d shock of ur life next month get ready 2 move 2 Yemen

  • Guguru

    The same army that helped burn down Bama and Baga after Boko Haram attacked those villages is the same army that is concerned with collateral damage? More than 500 Nigerian soldiers have died in this aimless war with BH and yet they do not think this is collateral damage? Folks, the Nigerian army is not interested in defeating Boko Haram. They and Boko Haram are a joint partnership whose only goal is to keep milking Nigeria of the money Jonathan is willing and happily supplying to them. Everyday, these people under Jonathan make up excuses for their poor performance by assuming that Nigerians are no more than 6 years old in their thinking.

    • May Satan help u with ur stupidity.

      • Guguru

        Goodluck,

        You seem to know Satan personally. Any reason why you chose to befriend a supposedly cruel creature of the dark or are you just a confused soul seeking the warmth and companionship of humans?

        • Am so sori 2 have replied 2 ur comment,I just realise that u are d guy with bipolar.Sori madman.

          • Guguru

            Goodluck,

            How am I a mad man? Are you feeling stable and able to conduct life’s functions today?

  • Otile

    This kind of war is un-winnable. How long has Al Shabab killed people and captured territories in Somalia? Even with their nuclear weapons Paki has not defeated the jihadists. With the cooperation of the Muslim natives in the NE it will be impossible to defeat Islamic Boko Haram.

    Our troops can try their best but nobody should expect them to wipe out Boko Haram and sharia associated violence in the North.

    • bib

      Why was the war allowed to begin or wax in the first place? Didn’t the army,when it was still army, entered the BH enclave and captured its then leader at the heart of Maiduguri without collateral damage? But when the clueless took over, he thought BH was a good tool to be used to perpetuate his devilish govt. He thus allowed it to re group and wax strong with arms supplied it, according to strong evidences. It then excised territories, kill people while the govt looked the other way. Now that the blood of innocent people haunts it, it is now it thinks of collateral damages. Diaris God oooo!

      • Dan maikoko

        There was thousand s of innocent people killed in 2009 dont misrepresent the truth because you want to give GEJ a bad name. The follow up to that operation was a disaster. This was the genesis of the regrouping of BH.

        • bib

           “Its unexpected resurgence, following a mass prison break in September 2010, was accompanied by increasingly sophisticated attacks, initially against soft targets, and progressing in 2011 to include suicide bombings on police buildings and the United Nations headquarters in Abuja. The government’s establishment of a state of emergency at the beginning of 2012, extended in the following year to cover the entire northeast of the country, resulted in a marked increase in both security force abuses and militant attacks. The Nigerian military proved ineffective in countering the insurgency, hampered by an entrenched culture of official corruption.” Culled from wikipedia.
          GEJ became The President of Nigeria and it’s Commander in Chief on 6th May 2010.

  • Etomi

    I recall that after the inaugural JTF onslaught in Bama and Gworza, northern elders started spurring for war, threatening to drag GEJ and Ihejirika to the ICJ for war crimes and human rights abuses…
    Even impeached Gov. Ntyako’s infamous open letter tried to capture the sentiment…
    And the National Human Rights Commission took the sound bites from the northern elders to heart for which they moved in to Bama and Gworza to assess the human rights conditions there. They also came out with their own report…
    Ever since Bama and Gworza has remained a sore thumb, with the military responding to those places with understandable phlegmatism…
    Without meaning to hold brief for the military, one seem to understand its approach of measured caution, but warn that that shouldn’t be at the expense of its combat readiness…

    • Emeka

      how to retake a town – move into the town, retake all government institutions in there, by force or not, remain in the town putting soldiers and uniformed men on the streets, everyone found breaking a law will be subject to the law of the land. ABC. so when experience men give childish excuses, there is a bigger problem

  • Emeka

    excuse after excuse. hiss

  • John

    Big brave men, capturing innocent teenage girls, converting them to God knows what, holding them against their will and slapping each other on the back.

  • Dan maikoko

    Without the proper commander in chief, field commanders and service chiefs will do as they please. Sorry rank and file you will have to bear the brunt, infact you all are cannon fodder!

    • orka

      Imagine the evil views of an unpatriotic Nigerian. The trouble with our soldiers is that, they think they cannot fight their fellow Muslm..in boko. haram…added to the support they the fighters in boko haram are getting from the Fulani elites—did u hear the armed forces complain or mutiny when the went to kill militants in the niger deltan?t

  • Aminu

    Because of the fear of collateral damage!Oga Officer when did this word enter Nigerian Army dictionery.Most of the civilian deaths in either Baga,Potiskum or Bama was from Nigerian soldiers unleashing terror on civilians when they were unable to defeat and killed Boko boys.These were actually the reasons advanced by USA in not granting GEJ weapon sales.And these were the reasons Nyako and other concerned Northern citizens planned to drag Ihejirika and co to ICC.We suffered both in the hand of Boko Haram and the Nigerian Army.

  • Chris Martin

    How about this, stop using conventional forces to fight a guerrilla or irregular force. That is a lose lose formula all day long.
    Furthermore, you must have the will to fight. The Nigerian army is weak.

  • Ioseb Vissarionovich Dze Jugha

    THE MOST USELESS EXCUSE OF 21ST CENTURY, THIS IS THE FORCE WHICH HAVE NO RESPECT FOR HUMAN VALUE TALKING ABOUT AVOIDING COLLATERAL DAMAGE, YOU SHOULD EXPLAIN TO US HOW TO PUNISH THE USELESS AMONG YOU WHO CARRY OUT MASSACRES ON THE INNOCENT CITIZENS OF NIGERIA SUCH AS THE ZAKI BIAM MASSACRE, THE ODI MASSACRE AND THE MOST RECENT SHITTE MASSACRE IN ZARIA…USELESS BUNCH OF CRIMINALS

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