Nigerian military calls soldiers’ escape to Cameroon ‘tactical manoeuvre’

Nigerian soldiers on patrol in Maiduguri

The Nigerian military has admitted that hundreds of government troops have fled heavy fighting with Boko Haram, but said their apparent escape to neighbouring Cameroon was a “tactical manoeuvre”.

The Cameroonian army said Monday some 480 Nigerian soldiers who sought refuge in the country, had been disarmed and accommodated in schools.

The news came a day after Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, released a new video in which he declared Gwosa, a town captured by the group, as part of an “Islamic Caliphate”.

A spokesperson for the Army spokesperson, Lt. Col Didier Badjek, was quoted by the BBC as saying that the Nigerian soldiers are currently in the Cameroonian town of Maroua, about 80km from the Nigerian border.

In a statement Monday, the Nigerian Defence Headquarters said the troops relocated to Cameroon in a “tactical manoeuvre”.

The statement said the soldiers surrendered their weapons to the Cameroonian authorities as a “normal protocol”, and as an evidence they were not on a hostile mission.

“Eventually they found themselves on Cameroonian soil. Being allies the normal protocol of managing such incident demanded that the troops submit their weapons in order to assure the friendly country that they were not on a hostile mission,” the statement said.

The Nigerian military said it has carried out talks with its Cameroonian counterpart, and that the troops have confirmed that they will be on their way back to their respective units in Nigeria.

The military criticised media reports over the incident, saying they were inappropriate considering that talks had held between the two countries.

Nigerian soldiers have repeatedly complained about their weapons, and have accused their superiors of exposing them to a better armed Boko Haram.

Earlier, Nigerian Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, said reports that soldiers had fled fighting were untrue.

“I have been briefed by the Chief of Army Staff that this is not the case,” Mr Obanikoro, wrote on Twitter when pressed by a user for comments.


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  • Baba

    Technical manoeuvre is the baptismal name for running which is the best form of defence because when you run away,nobody will see you let alone hurting you.

    • Bayo


    • redeem

      Even if u fund the war with one trillion dollars every second—-it would be the same/–that is the point we are making————-The Cameroonian soldiers have no tribal or religious marks–ours have——on both sides of their mouth———slips- hair–ati nose and cheek ————-our general are rogues—————rather than have them move their headquarters—to the war front–they are more interested in bunkering—————-in the Niger Delta–if this boko haram war had taken place in the niger delta–every village in the zone would have been flattened——-bombed to submission———by now————–there are thousands of soldiers–roaming about freely in the South——————IDLE soldiers——with nothing to do in Rivers—— Ibadan–Akwa Ibom– Cross rivers–enugu–lagos———–while there is war on———-sack dasuk——sack————– dasuki

      • Wähala

        Monkey head Minimah must go before the NA realizes how messed up the aborigines have turned a once honorable institution to chop-I-chop army. Fire ogogoro head Minimah biko… deadbeats don’t fight, they drink till quench… like Meni Oloti.

    • Glover33

      Hahaha who won die? Better alive than a dead chicken. They don’t want to be the dead chickens but the living chickens.

    • Spoken word

      Tactical manoeuvre is the technical way of saying they were running for their dear lives.

  • tsunami1earthquake

    No need playing poker here. Soldiers have complained incessantly that they were not adequately armed; some even threw caution to the wind and threatened mutiny on this account. Now soldiers have taken refuge in Cameroon! And Nigeria still spins yarns to convince and confuse the non-discerning members of the public! Is this not a heinous crime to just push soldiers into a line of battle we know we cannot win, given the poor fighting equipment they have? Is it not a heinous crime to feed soldiers into this line of battle, knowing full well that they will all die in the hands of the hard-fighting and better-armed insurgents? Is it not a heinous crime not to purchase the necessary arms and ammunition that should tower over those of the insurgents? Is it not a heinous crime to corruptly withhold such defence monies for personal use, while believing that few bullets in AK-47 rifles would defeat the better-armed insurgents? Is it not a heinous crime for our ministers of defence and the military hierarchy to come out in public and lie about the obvious shame our soldiers are facing in the hands of the insurgents? Is it not something shameful that these insurgents could command better arms and ammunition than what Nigeria, as a nation, could command? Where have all the monies voted for arms purchase gone? And what is the commander-in-chief and his security hierarchy doing about this? In fact this has opened up the Achilles heel of the Nigerian government as a government incapable, either by design or default, omission or commission, of guaranteeing the safety and territorial integrity of this nation. Meanwhile, I don’t know what to say of the Nigerian Army that has now made itself a laughing stock before the whole wide world!

    • redeem

      I BEGI PLS THAT IS NO GO AREA AT ALL–THE BOKO HARAM WAR HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ARMS AND AMMUNITION–MBA—————-THE SOLDIERS ARE NOT READY TO FIGHT–BECAUSE OF THEIR RELIGION–THEY ALL LOVE ORGANIZING COUPS BECOMING–heads of state– GOVERNORS AND CREATING LGAs and states for the north—-but to fight their own fulani brothers—mba————–the boko haram war will end the day jonathan completes his tenure———————-

      • Wähala

        Hahahaa chei…!!!
        Dr. Dumbo escaped to Germany while his goons tactically escaped to Cameroon…
        Since Gen. Ihejirika handed over to the Aborigine drunk, Gen Minimah, the BH have regained the upper hands because drunks don’t fight. Fire all the pot bellied Service Chiefs now!

      • Unredeem 2

        Redeem i have been following your comments (and all the CAPITAL letters) for months now and i can only come to two (2) conclusions
        1: You are very sick. You need the type of help only psychiatrists can offer
        2: You are a paid agent of the PDP/GEJ

        All the same i wish you well

  • Thepeople

    The government is playing with fire that might eventually consume all of us.

    • redeem

      separation is the answer————–did u not hear IBB say he will wear his uniform to fight for the unity of nigeria—what he was saying is that he needs to protect his investments- in nigeria

      • Unredeem

        And when BH are allowed to overrun the North, they told you they will stop at your new borders?

  • Glover33

    Laugh won kill me here. “Tactical withdrawal” indeed…the cowards could not stay to fight but had to run for their dear lives. Chickens in uniform. They only know how to harass civilians in lagos but when they see BH, they start to shake in their boots.

  • osikagbagbeola

    Ok. This was how Boko Haram started. Everybody thought they would soon fizzle out. But here we are! We thought they were hiding in the Sambisa forest, operating in secrete. Now, not only that Nigerian security forces have no presence in Sambisa, these guys are now operating openly 24/7 in Gwoza and Nigerian security forces cannot dislodge them. Which means now they have Sambisa plus Gwoza. Since they cannot be dislodged from either, one can only expect them to gain more areas, right? And that means, the unthinkable! The govt needs to remember the saying that a stitch in time saves nine otherwise BH may overrun the whole of Nigeria, one day. Sadly.

  • BlackieUmukoro

    And so boko haram captured Nigeria, God forbid. But God may not forbid, if those at the helm of affairs do not do the needful. To the extent that some of the soldiers have agreed to come back, means that, they actually took refuge in Cameroun.

  • Adoki

    Surely, Mr. President will finally fire somebody this time.

    • Sword of Damocles

      “Mr. President will finally fire somebody this time.”

      you are killing me with laughter. Who is the Clown Prince of this entire treacherous farce?

    • Mosaku 147

      I pray that ‘somebody’ will be himself.

  • uduakomiri

    Guys you realise that 480 is only 20 soldiers short of a battalion. What it means is that a battalion of Nigerian soldiers ran away from an encounter with Boko Haram into Cameroun. Yes Cameroun that used to shit in their pants when Nigerian army moved two battalions to its border during the time of IBB/Abacha are now a place of refugee for our soldiers. Kai!
    Either we have cowards in the Nigerian army at the moment or their weapons are so terrible. The annoying thing is that the military top brass are simply deaf. Any commander knows that when your soldiers start questioning not just orders but their weapons then something is really wrong. Yet the top brass of the military, as always, dismiss every genuine concern raised by frontline troops who comprise mainly junior officers.
    The army is already adding a childish spin to reports of Nigerian soldiers retreating into Cameroun by calling it a ‘tactical manoeuvre’ how shameful. The problem is that the army officers who sit in air-conditioned offices in Abuja, who always have someone to carry their umbrella and drive them in expensive bullet proof SUVs do not really care whether soldiers have the right kit, modern weapons and reasonable allowance so long as they make money from any conflict in Nigeria.
    If we had a responsible military, they would have sorted things out as soon as soldiers started complaining.

  • ibrex

    This is not true at all, the Nigerian soldiers are not cowards to run away from the BH chicken fighters. What about our bombardier Jets and the APCs? Where are the Air force? Can’t they just come and bomb all of them from the air? Common! This is not true.

  • Enemona

    Lol. They were chased to Cameroon and got their weapons seized. Cowards, are there no BRT buses to be razed there? Where are they lazy pot-bellied military chiefs?

  • Truthometer

    ‘Tactical manoeuvre’ is another name for ‘Tactical escape’ from the butcher of Sambisa, Field Marshall Shekau and his soulless ragtag army. Shame on Dumbo, PDP and the corrupt generals that are endangering the poor soldiers lives. Give them modern weapons to fight with and stop stealing the funds meant for the kitting of the foot soldiers.

  • Screw-em

    The cowardice exhibited or displayed by our so called Mai guards in
    khaki uniforms explains why the abducted Chibok girls remain locked away
    in Sambisa forest after over four months. Why Nigeria lost Bakassi, why
    the Nigerian boy scouts….oooppps..”soldiers” were routed by the
    Cameroonian gendarmes when they attempted to encroach on the Cameroonian
    borders near Cross River State years ago to flex their fake “muscles”.
    With an “air” head like the lily livered worm we have as commander in
    thief, no one expects any better leadership. Dumbo GEJ, sacks Doctors
    with the onset of a deadly virus, Afraid his urologist will expose him,
    he heads off to Germany to treat the syphilis he picked up from 2.3GPA
    “Architect” the slutty Diezani. Utter disgrace for a “leader” of
    170million mumu’s. My only consolation is that he only has 140 days left
    in office.

  • igbiki

    So it has reached the Army.

    Nigeria that use to send soldiers all over the world on peace keeping mission and who deals with any recalcitrant neighbours without mercy has now finally bade goodbye to its military.

    Nigeria does not have anything reasonable and now Nigeria does not have an Army.

    • Enemona

      You see the plan unfolding, right in your eye.

  • Dr. McCkay

    Dear Editor:

    I have read and understood this incredible about ‘tactical maneouvre’. I think it is at best an argument that the fleeing soldiers may only tenuously enter in their own desperate defence from the dock when arraigned before a Cameroonian War Tribunal. Under international law it is a treasonable offence for a soldier of a country to bear arms and forcibly enter into a foreign territory. If however the Cameroonian Tribunal accepts this desperate and tenuous defence, any Nigerian soldier may engage in such ‘tactical maneouvre’ from time to time – regardless that Nigeria’s military barracks may become empty and have no soldiers left in consequence.

  • Ade

    Dr McCkay, please face the issue. No long talk on this one. No need to make it look somehow less outrageous.
    Yes, this is an incredible story of cowardice and desertion by Nigerian soldiers in the face of enemy attack.
    Desertion and cowardice have no justified defence in a military tribunal. Not at all. You are just being diplomatic.
    No need for all that. Just say the truth and shame the devil. Cowardice and desertion have no excuse in the army.

  • damola awoyokun

    I don’t consider this funny at all. So that means that these people can actually overrun Abuja and the Nigerian soldiers just run away?

    • Dr. McCkay

      I have read and understood this incredible story about ‘tactical maneouvre’. I
      think it is at best an argument that the fleeing soldiers may only
      tenuously enter in their own desperate defence from the dock when
      arraigned before a Cameroonian War Tribunal. Under international law it
      is a treasonable offence for a soldier of a country to bear arms and
      forcibly enter into a foreign territory. If however the Cameroonian
      Tribunal accepts this desperate and tenuous defence, any Nigerian
      soldier may engage in such ‘tactical maneouvre’ from time to time –
      regardless that Nigeria’s military barracks may become empty and have no
      soldiers left in consequence.

    • osikagbagbeola


      • aaa

        My brother, e tire me oooo!!!!

  • Efe

    The fight is in Nigeria. The Nigerian Army ‘tactically manoeuvred’ into Cameroon and not a nearby state in Nigeria. What happens to those who couldn’t manoeuvre to Cameroon? They couldn’t resist or confront BH, and they ran away. The bribing Government will now bribe Cameroonian officials and the run away soldiers to keep quiet so that the re-election of Africa’s emperor will not be compromised. ‘Leadersheep’ indeed!!

  • redeem

    LEADERSHIP of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-East, comprising governors, senators, ministers, state chairmen, among others, in an emergency meeting on Sunday, rejects in its entirety, the recent announcement of the posting and PROMOTION in the Nigeria Police.

    Speaking with journalists at the end of the emergency meeting, the PDP publicity secretary, Mr Olisa Metuh, said after along hours of deliberation by the stakeholders, the party said “we are worried about the announcement of the posting and PROMOTION in the Nigeria Police,” while it called on the Nigeria Police Commission to revisit the promotion, in the spirit of equality and federal character.

    The party also rejected the alleged allocation of 8,000 polling units to the zone by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), adding that it was a dis-service to the zone.

    Members also asked President Goodluck Jonathan to recontest in 2015, while it also asked INEC to extend the REGISTRATION exercise.

    • redeem

      Nanakumoh was posted to be in charge of dogs and horses–as an AIGP–BY THE NEW AIGP——————THAT IS NIGERIA FOR U————————–

      • Wähala

        Minimah must be posted to Papua New Guinea before the army will reorganize and become professionals again, the ogogoro-head is not fit to lead the Boys Scout. Even my grandmother can do better… wallahi!

      • Shehu


    • Wähala

      Sack of Minimah is paramount to winning the war against the Boko Haram…
      Drunks don’t fight, they spit into the air!

      • Enemona

        Minimah was put there to carry out the speedy winding down of the army. So far, he’s doing a good job.

    • Shehu


  • Gideon Orkar

    80 km into Cameroun!!! Serious tactical manoeuvring! If na to beat civilians….

  • Kojo

    Ha, ha, ha! There you have it – it is happening in Nigeria!
    As Islamic state Jihad rages, things fall apart – and the centre cannot hold
    Mere anarchy is now loosed upon land already in pandemonium
    Yoruba Christians are the only ones who’ll still be caught un-awares.
    Ha, ha, ha, education could have deleted the senses of Yoruba Christians.

  • NiGEria

    A serious calamity is bedeviling Nigeria and our leaders are too busy thinking of how to get back to steal more money. Until more is done to address corruption and the lackadaisical attitude of our governments (Jonathan’s in particular), we might one day hear that the entire North-East (if not the North) has been declared an Islamic State. The implication being that Nigeria’s map will be re-drawn with MASSOB and MEND demanding their own land areas. We may be saying goodbye to the geographical entity known as Nigeria thinking that these current situations are laughable. It is only in Nigeria you see parties not coming together to fight a common enemy, propose and/or re-introduce appalling laws to woo voters and cause chaotic scenes all in a bid to enter political office. Jonathan to me should honorably resign given his profound failure in all ramifications of institutionalization. He is a failure if he is in power (the highest office in the land) and all he keeps saying are that these devilish acts are politically motivated, shifting blames and acting out scripts that show his gross incompetence… My opinion.

    • Nnaemeka Ndubuisi

      So the poorly equipt Nigeria army is caused by Jonathan, is that? Nigeria can not continue to pretend over the momumental level of corruption in the country since during the civil war. This kas teen eating up every fabric of our society, the army not exception. Therefore name calling or blame have not and will not solve the problem. Except we stop supporting all these corrupt minded politcians and parties and shun corruption ourselves, we are going no where. Do we think of the future of our children and children’s children?

  • Mosaku 147

    This olukolade go kill me with laugh one day. Tactical manoeuvre indeed 80km inside Cameroon. Even fire brigade would have done better.
    The painful aspect of this gist to me is that this group of deserters includes about 25 officers. Na look una dey look?sebi una don see wetin Jona turn our military into.
    This is the biggest shame that has come the way of our soldiers since the Nigeria Army was formed and all courtesy of this weak c in c and his ‘service thiefs’

  • Mosaku 147

    I have always said it on this forum that the Nigerian army was at its lowest since our independence but none of you believed. Now see what’s happening.
    I just wish this BH guys can help me catch them where they are constituting APC BOT and where they are holding PDP TAN rallies.maybe then,they might understand what the ordinary people are going through.

  • amazing2012

    Tactical shame !

  • Enemona

    It’s part of the grand plan. The weakening of the Nigerian military was intentional and in preparation for other major events to come, watch out. The military, despite its indiscipline, has been one institution that has held Nigeria together with its might. What happens if that might is no more?

    • Wähala

      Just shut up dia!
      What international grand plan… did the international community tell Dumbo to steal our defense budget? You aborigine clowns always have a conspiracy theory to proffer instead of advising your drunk to drop the bottle and get busy with the business for which he was elected in the first place. The army is corrupt because Dumbo is very corrupt and tolerates corruption, their budget is stolen by pot bellied Generals and the consequences are deserting soldiers due to inferior or outdated equipment… shikena!

      • Enemona

        Calm your nerves, this is not an international plan, it’s a plan in Nigeria, by Nigerians and against Nigeria. Read between the lines!

        • oce

          @Wahala, He said “INTENTIONAL” AND NOT “INTERNATIONAL.” So, calm down.

  • kunle

    How can hungry people fight when their commanders are smiling to the bank with their allowances

  • Madiba

    Where is Marilyn Ogar and her masked DSSSSSSSSSSS…… We are in a mess.

  • johansen

    What a great show of shame..m.. Political generals. In the history of Nigeria we had only two generals. Gen sani abacha and Gen victor malu. What we have are fools with lots of stars on their shoulders. Mixed with a headless comander in chief, then u have a cocktail of fiasco.

    • Moses Johnpee

      stop insulting the commander in chief of our country

      • Mbukar

        Commander in shame and disgrace who can not command the army

  • Chinedu

    There is nothing wrong with tactical maneuvre, recently some ukranian soldiers after a fire fight with pro Russian sepratist along the border beat a retreat into Russian territory as a tactical move in which the Ukrainian authorities confirmed. We should stop churning out news to dampen the morale of our soldiers. Our press should do more of investigative journalism rather than extracting unconfirmed news from foreign media platforms. Afterall, in crisis torn areas in the world. Libya,Syria,Iraq, Egypt you have press men in the line of duty who reports first hand information on the battle field. Enough of this NIGERIAN PRESS, you guys take delight in glorifying the excesses of this Boko haram maniacs.

    • Maria

      Can you please define what this new term(tactical maneuvre) is and what purpose is it suppose to achieve?

      • Chinedu

        A military strategy which implies a move made to gain tactical end.

        • Mbukar

          Waiting for the outcome of the ‘tactical maneuvre’ if not just another Shekau has been killed by the army story or we have recovered the Chibok girls except four story from DHQ

        • Maria

          Have you now gained tactical end? Fools.

          • Chinedu

            Of course, you know it would have been embarrassing if the unconfirmed number quoted were all killed. In warfare, you can’t win all. Better live to fight another day.

          • Maria

            So, the tactical end is to run off… now I understand you.

    • Adeyi

      I can bet you that we have got brave journalists who are ready to hit the frontiers to report the FACTS! But you can be sure that the facts won’t be anything near palatable news, as the DHQ will not allow any pressman near the battle ground. Trust me, you won’t want that too because the feedback will be devastating and explosive. So just leave it as it is.

    • Adeyi

      I can bet you that we have got brave journalists who are ready to hit the frontiers to report the FACTS! But you can be sure that the facts won’t be anything near palatable news, as the DHQ will not allow any pressman near the battle ground. Trust me, you won’t want that too because the feedback will be devastating and explosive. So just leave it as it is.

    • pastorakinleye

      A national army in a tactical withdrawal from Boko Haram insurgents? Whatever happened to the billions allegedly spent on weapons? You’re living a lie to suggest a parallel between Ukraine incident and the disarray Nigerian troops are in.

    • MBukar

      @ Chinedu, be informed it was not Nigerian press who pioneered the information. It is legendary BBC through the Cameroonian government. Unfortunately you have doubt about Nigerian press like must of us but they are more reliable than defence headquarters spoke person Chris. ola? if your army ‘equipped’ can run away from the barbaric assassins who killed without reason how do expect journalists to be at the battle front. The cases you sited are people who fight defined enemy but to boko haram everybody is an enemy journalist inclusive. Don not forget they bombed Thisday newspaper headquarter in Abuja.

  • Gbo_lee

    Now even the respected Nigerian military is fast dragging itself into shame. This is perhaps the biggest disgrace ever for the Nigerian military. If you but that lame excuse of tactical whatever from the military,you have serious issues. The military has now even mastered the art of feeding lies to the public. Very Sád

  • Adeyi

    This illegal entry by the Nigerian soldiers breaches every sense of the protocol if indeed the army says its a tactical manoeuvre. Were the Cameroonian authorities briefed of any intention to step on their soil? If no, then the army should accept media reports that the soldiers were chased out of their country by BH or they chickened out of a fight.

    This move by the Nigerian Army could be likened to a failed invasion of Camerron. We forget that we have a history of war or near-war with Cameroon.

    It is a pity that the army of the ‘greatest country in Africa’ has been reduced to a Boys Scout Company which is used for election matters. Me think that it is time that the real soldiers stood up and be counted.

    Our soldiers (and their wives and children) have been crying out for a long time about their ‘inability’ to face the enemy, yet the army has always come out to deny this fact. The DHQ and AHQ have always told us they were battle ready for BH, but were strategising. Now we hear an army chief say that they are taking delivery of weapons to fight BH. Is this now or before now? This is confirmation that ‘anti-BH weapons,’ whatever that means, are in short supply!

    DHQ/AHQ, please do the needful and save the nation this huge embarrassment.

    Now that you say that you have spoken to your counterparts in Cameroon, and the soldiers have confirmed they will be on their way back to Nigeria, I hope you will strategise well on how to outmanoeuvre BH as the boys return home, to avoid ambush and blood shed. Better still, just send in the Charlies to airlift them back home to their families.

    A word is enough for the wise!

  • Lydia


    • Adeyi

      Stop the corruption, be real patriots, and our soldiers will be willing to die for their fatherland. But, for now, no way!

  • Ette

    This PDP wickedness is in curable, even when Cameroon had announced the presence of the soldiers who ran for their lives, wicked liars still had to come out to fault report of Nigerian soldiers in Cameroon. They have lost all sense of decency and truthfulness. We cannot blame the gallant soldiers who have not been prepared but sent out to die because they are soldiers. They are human being and deserve to live but if in the course of sincerely serving Nigeria ( sincerity of govt), they die and are sure their family will,be catered for, well and good. But in the face of wicked level of corruption in which even their salaries are not paid on time and their colleagues who die are not given good burial while their families are left to suffer, how can they give their best. Moreover, they know that boko haram is caused by corrupt politicians, hence they, the politicians should solve the boko haram embarrassment rather they send soldiers to die. May God deliver Nigeria from the hands of these wicked people in power, and may God treat them the way they are treating Nigerians.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    Boko Haram insurgents Nigerian soldiers ran away out Nigerian territory into Cameroun and Nigerian deceitful and untrustworthy government claimed Nigerian soldiers ran into Cameroun on tactical reason?Very shameful.Nigerian soldiers failed woefully to confront and defeat Boko Haram insurgents how could Nigerian soldiers ever be able to confront any invading foreign soldiers from other country?Shameless PDP president Ebele Jonathan with his corrupt-ridden, failed cabal.

  • nenky

    This is like reading from Shakespeare s mind, ur use of vocabulary, I read through cos I want to be like you someday. so bottom line, PMB is the man we need abi?