By Nwafor Sunday
The Nigerian Army has on Tuesday evening replied Amnesty International over a statement credited to it claiming that troops failed to protect Dapchi school girls from terrorists.
Not as it even challenged the group to provide evidence of its claims, alleging that Nigerian troops knew about the invasion and fled.
Recall that Amnesty International had claimed that the federal government-controlled security forces got advanced warning but failed to prevent the abduction of schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe State.
Amnesty equally alleged that a police source disclosed that officers fled the town over the fear that Boko Haram may “overpower them”.
“Evidence available to Amnesty International suggests that there are insufficient troops deployed in the area, and that an absence of patrols and the failure to respond to warnings and engage with Boko Haram contributed to this tragedy,” Osai Ojigho, AI director in Nigeria, said in a statement.
In view of the above statements, Nigerian army head quarter in a statement signed by the Acting Director Defence Information, Brigadier General John Agim, denied this claim and said that they were not informed by Amnesty International.
In his words, “It is pertinent to state that most of their narratives are outright falsehood and a calculated attempt to whip up sentiments and mislead unsuspecting Nigerians. To demoralise friendly nations and people collaborating with security forces to end the forces of evil in the North-East,” they said.
“For the avoidance of doubts, no security force was informed of Dapchi schoolgirls abduction as alleged by Amnesty International.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria is a professional military and has attained the highest form of professionalism in line with International best practices. And so, could not have ignored the warning of Boko Haram attack only to work tirelessly to get the girls back,” the statement read in part.
“The question Amnesty International has not answered satisfactorily is; which of the security forces and what unit was informed that a convoy of Boko Haram fighters heading towards Dapchi where they abducted Dapchi school girls?
“What was the telephone numbers used to inform the Military or the Police? Why has Amnesty International refused to communicate its findings with the Federal Government’s Committee set up to investigate what happened before, during and after Dapchi girls abduction? Is Amnesty International trying to undermine the outcome of this committee?”, army head quarter quizzed.