The Nigerian Army acted on intelligence reports in combing some areas of Maiduguri Metropolis which included a house purported to accommodate some staff of an international humanitarian organisation.
Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, the Theatre Commander, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, made the disclosure at a briefing in Maiduguri. He said that the army conducted condone operation in the Pompori area of Maiduguri in search of high profiled Boko Haram insurgents.
Commenting on the raid on UN facility in Maiduguri, General Attahiru said “Our actions, like previous successful exercises, were based on intelligent reports made available to the military and never intended to tarnish the image of the UN body, an agency we so much respect and hold in higher esteem.”
Attahiru nevertheless noted that the house in question did not bear UN designation and which was later discovered to accommodate some staff of UN humanitarian agency.
He said: “The condone and search operation was not specifically targeted at the UN facility, but rather done in the general area of operation. About 30 houses were searched during the exercise and no arrests were made.
“The military recorded significant success in various operations conducted in the theatre in the past two weeks. For instance, our troops under the Operation LAFIYA DOLE neutralized several Boko Haram insurgents, made arrests and discovered a bomb making factory.
“The development assisted to reduce the spate of suicide bombing and insurgents’ attacks.
“It should not be misconstrued that the Nigerian Army is trying to stop the UN from discharging its activities. We are partners in progress in the counter insurgency operations”.
“We will continue to collaborate with the United Nations (UN) humanitarian agencies to achieve the goals of the counter-insurgency campaign and other developments to address the humanitarian crisis in the North-East region.
“The Nigerian Army is very aware of the need of the UN agencies to discharge their duties and we are ready to support them by providing enabling and conducive environment to UN and other agencies to enhance their operations.
Meanwhile, the Director Defence Information, Major General John Enenche has also denied the alleged invasion of UN house in Maiduguri.
In a statement he issued in Abuja, General Enenche said that “the house being referred to as United Nations building, is an unmarked accommodation without any sign that it was occupied by United Nations. Notwithstanding, the search operation was conducted peacefully at the premises, when the troops were allowed into it, just like other buildings.
“Furthermore, the relationship between the Nigerian Military and United Nations has been cordial, aimed at working towards a more secured world in general and Nigeria in particular, which will be sustained. Thus, everything will be done by the Nigerian Military to ensure that United Nations activities and interests are given adequate protection and encouragement.
“Therefore, the general public is hereby requested to disregard the information that “United Nations building in Maiduguri was raided by troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE”.