Amnesty International’s report on Baga, Monguno inaccurate, unfair – Nigerian military

The Nigerian military has hit back at Amnesty International’s claim that it ignored repeated warnings of an impending attack on Baga and Monguno and also failed to take measures to protect the civilian population of the surrounding towns and villages describing the allegation as “misleading”, “inaccurate and unfair.”

On Wednesday, Amnesty International [AI] released a statement claiming information it obtained from a senior military officer and evidence gathered from other sources revealed that commanders at the military base in Baga informed the military headquarters in Abuja of a looming attack on the town and repeatedly asked for reinforcement but the military hierarchy failed to respond accordingly.

Amnesty’s claim also tallies with PREMIUM TIMES exclusive report that though the army was aware of an impending attack the base was not adequately prepared when the terrorists attacked.

In a statement released on Wednesday evening, Director for Defence Information, Chris Olukolade, a Brigadier General, said AI’s claim is a continuation of the organisation’s use of the unfortunate incident to discredit the military’s counter terrorism efforts.

Mr. Olukolade said the protection of civilians is the essence of the military’s counter terrorism activities and that the troops were adequately prepared and engaged the insurgents in all the instances mentioned by AI.

“Being an area of operation where terrorists are known to be ever looking for the slightest opportunity to attack and perpetrate heinous atrocities, Nigerian troops are conversant with the need to maintain the highest form of alertness always,” he said.

“Every available information is factored into the intelligence that drives every engagement or encounter in any part of the mission area. This standard has not only been sustained but has been incrementally enhanced in terms of capacity, troop’s deployment, coordination, troop’s mobility and protection as well as logistics.

“Regular patrols, surveillance, pursuit and actual combat engagement to curtail or forestall terrorists’ activities and threats are also conducted. This has substantially succeeded in preventing, frustrating or minimising the effect of terrorists’ dastardly intentions and actions. This also accounts for why the main intention of terrorists attack on Maiduguri and other places could not succeed.”

Mr. Olukolade, therefore, said AI’s conclusion was misleading adding that if the organisation had tried to confirm the information it got, it would have found out that it was misleading at best.

“The misleading conclusions by Amnesty International could have been avoided if they had made meaningful efforts to verify the inciting allegations. Whatever be the intention, the allegations, at best can only constitute a distractive and misleading commentary or interpretation of the terrorists’ activities, the efforts to curb them and the actual situation on the ground in Nigeria.,” he said

“The Nigerian security forces remain willing and capable of discharging the responsibility of defending the country’s territory and people,” he maintained.


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  • bib

    “Being an area of operation where terrorists are known to be ever looking for the slightest opportunity to attack and perpetrate heinous atrocities, Nigerian troops are conversant with the need to maintain the highest form of alertness always,” he said.
    Haba General! Konduga has been attacked by BH at least four times. And our soldiers are always surprised there. Why can’t our soldiers surprise the BH for once at their base? Why shouldnt be our soldiers attacking instead of always staving off attacks?

    • peirodam

      bib thank u very much,yours is one of the best comments since i have been visiting this forum

  • King Carlos

    When International agencies list Nigeria as the top economy in Africa, government officials are quick to mention the ‘achievement’ at any given opportunity, but when the same set of international organizations give assessment of our response to boko haram, our officials go to any length to discredit the report.

    please let’s vote for CHANGE.

  • It is only God now that can help Olukolade from lying and poor reasoning. If the Army got information about attack and made “adequate preparation” why did the Army not hold Bags? Was it that the “adequate preparation” of the Nigeria Army was not adequate for Boko Haram? They are talking about Bags, he,s talkind about Maiduguri. Is Maiduguri not more difficult militarily to take by Boko Haram than Bags at least for logiustic reasons? Why is he so proud Boko Haram couldn’t take Maiduguri? Why should Boko Haram even enter Maiduguri if the Army had good intelligence? These people should just keep quiet.

  • Juokorow

    Amnesty International must understand that calls for troop/equipment reinforcement were unreasonable, given higher national security priorities such as “capturing” and securing Port Harcourt stadium (for GED rally) and body-guarding countless “v.i.piss”.

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    In military terms,offence is the best form of defence. As long as the Nigerian army remains content with defensive initiatives,the terrorists will be running rings around them. The military must always be on the offensive,launching raids by air and land coupled with aggressive patrols into BH infested areas and endlessly dictating the course of events in the theatre of war.
    Considering the huge landmass and borders involved,the reaction time of the Air-force will either win or lose the war,Nigeria needs scores of attack helicopters with night fighting capabilities to take the initiative in this insurgence.A good combination of air and land assets will make business difficult for the insurgents.

    • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

      BASTARRD 419ER YAHOO YAHOO GANG MASTEER.

      • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

        illiterate !!

        • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

          BASTARRD IGNORANT. CRIMINAL 419ER AND EVIL ARMED ROBBER. SLAVE OF THE GAY JESUS CHRIST.

    • WHY HAS IT TAKEN MORE THAN SIX YEARS FOR JONATHAN TO KNOW THIS?

  • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

    GODLOCK JONATHAN ON THE EYES OF THE WORLD.

  • Dazmillion

    Brigadier General Chris Olukolade lets not beat around the bush. The question is simple and also requires a simple answer.

    Did commanders at the military base in Baga inform the military headquarters in Abuja that the Boko terrorists were planning to launch an attack?

    Yes or No.

    • The answer is a Big YES, from Amnesty International’s report. Yet no support was provided.

  • LindaO

    From what I’ve read the warning were from BH themselves. They announced that they would attack Baga. But what credibility should you given to a group that has been known to lie time and time again? They might as well say they’ll attack Baga so the military dispatch a large contingent there and then attack elsewhere.

    • The issue is not the credibilty of Boko Haram alerts, it is the inability of Jonathan’s inept army to eradicate the 500 odd rag-tag insurgent’s army that had murdered tens of thousands of innocent Nigerians.

      • Dayo

        The thing is it’s very hard to outroot guerrilla groups. When the battle was open and direct (say until 2013) the army was very effective. Then BH’s strategy radically changed and things turned sour. Look at what happened in Afghanistan: a joint force combining the local military, the US, the UK, France, Italy, Australia and many more could not defeat a handful of ill-equipped terrorists because they were hiding in the mountains, perfectly knew the battle grounds and follow guerrilla warfare tactics. How do you expect our army to brilliantly succeed where others have systematically failed?

        • The NA is not fighting BH on the mountains of Afghanistan but on the plains of Northeastern Nigeria. Two different scenarios.
          The issue is not in the ability of Boko Haram, it is the inability of Jonathan’s inept army to eradicate the 500 odd rag-tag insurgent’s army that had murdered tens of thousands of innocent Nigerians.

      • LindaO

        Dayo made a good point. The same thing happened with the FARCS in colombia. You cannont win such a war with sheer military force.

        • The NA is not fighting BH on the mountains of Afghanistan but on the plains of Northeastern Nigeria. Two different scenarios.

          • LindaO

            Yes but you can’t pretend there is no common thread. Wars against volatile forces avoiding direct confrontation when not in their terms are the hardest ones for regular armies. Plus Boko Haram perfectly knows the region, which can not be said about our forces.

          • The Nigerian Army does know Sambisa forest, don’t they? That’s where the action should begin. The Nigerian Army should stop avoiding direct confrontation. I wish them good success, but they must confront Boko Haram.

          • LindaO

            Yes. I beleive you are right (at least for that second part). Let’s see what happens now.

          • Thank you for accepting facts, it takes courage to do that.

  • JamesAdebayo

    There’s still no clear explanation about who or what type of information where given to AI, thus they could issue any kind of statement really. While no one denies the atrocities that happened recently, I don’t think it’s fair to put the blame on the military, but rather focus our attention on dealing with the terrorists themselves.

  • FadeelahO

    I don’t believe AI could have come with that kind of conclusion when the military has been on high alert for quite some time now, as stated Mr Olukolade. Given the recent development of the conflict during the last week, I think it’s fair to assume the military is doing everything in its power and even more to stop the terrorist threat.

  • As from February 14, 2015, the Nigerian Army will cease to be Jonathan’s Army and become the old Nigerian Army under General Buhari. Then Boko Haram will start retreating. Fe Buhari, Love Buhari, Vote Buhari, DESTROYER of Maitatsine and Boko Haram, as President.

    • samuel

      If Buhari wins the election and the boko haram activities stop, it is clear indication that Buhari is sponsoring the Islamic sect. Will he recruit another set of soldiers or the same ones working now.? What will he add again? If he wins and the BH boys activities stops, it show that he made true with his word of making the Government ungovernable for Jonathan. Think wisely and vote wisely

      • The indication is irrefutable (as confirmed by Amnesty International) that as Nigerian Army refuses to move on actionable intimations, that Jonathan is the facilitator of Boko Haram genocide.

  • samuel

    Boko haram is a group that engages in guerilla warfare and this form or tactics is used by most rebels which makes them look invincible. They strike unsuspecting women and children who are vulnerable and then retreat immediately to the bush. This type of warfare was employed by the Vietnamese and they were victorious against the mighty US. This is a plot to make jonathan look incapable, but come FEB14 all the APC cohorts will lose first in there ward after which they bury there head in shame.. GEJ2019

  • mohammed

    thank you Nigerian military. what is Amnesty International’s gain in this misleading reports…

  • Ajala

    Amnesty international’s campaign of calumny against the Nigerian military may soon put AI under integrity watch.

  • Audu

    Every campaign has expiring date. Amnesty International’s negative campaign against the military won’t be an exception.

  • barika

    Amnesty International should be careful about its report before it turns itself to Anti-integrity International. Nigeria now have so much enemies that even our best friends now have became the stronghold enemies. God bless this nation.

  • soulchild

    This situation is what you get when we vote in a seventy something year old with a disputed WAEC certificate.