480 Soldiers Flee Nigeria…Defect To Cameroon| “…It was a tactical maneuver” – DHQ
konknaijaboy | On 25, Aug 2014
In spate of the incessant attack in the north-eastern states by the terrorist Islamic sect, Boko Haram, 480 Nigerian soldiers have fled the region and defected to the northern city of Maroua, in Cameroon.
The British Broadcasting Service (BBC) Africa, said in the Twitter handle twitter.com/BBCAfrica that the soldiers defected to Cameroon, but gave no reason for the defection.
The inability of the Nigerian military to acquire superior weapons to confront the dreaded Boko Haram sect has caused some soldiers to abandon the force while some willingly gave up arms.
Leader of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, had earlier released a video claiming dominance over Gwoza town and declaring it an Islamic caliphate, an action the Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen Chris Olukolade had denied.
- Related: NewsRescue-Nigerian Military Chiefs Are The Sponsors of Boko Haram
The defence spokesman mentioned that the territorial integrity of Nigeria was intact but a military operation to retake Gwoza was underway.
Last Wednesday, 200 AK 47 assault rifles belonging to the police were carted away by Boko Haram who attacked the Police Academy in Gwoza. The guns were seized from three mobile police units-Mopol 50, Abuja; Mopol 38 and Mopol 58 based in Akwanga and Lafia respectively.
Read more: NEWS RESCUE
Nigeria’s Chief of Army, Kenneth Minimah
The Defence Headquarters has issued a statement claiming that the 480 Nigerian soldiers found in Cameroon are not defectors as alleged by BBC.
A statement titled “BIG STORY: THE NIGERIAN SOLDIERS FOUND IN CAMEROUN” and published on the Defence Headquarters website read: The Nigerian troops that were found in Cameroun was as a result of a sustained battle between the troops and the terrorists around the borders with Cameroun which saw the Nigerian troops charging through the borders in a tactical maneuver. Eventually they found themselves on Camerounian 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.
Following necessary discussions between Nigerian and Camerounian military authorities, the issues have been sorted out. Subsequently, the troops are on their way back to join their unit in Nigeria.
The reference to the incidence as a defection is therefore not appropriate considering the discussion between the two countries’ military leadership and the series of contacts with the soldiers who have confirmed that they are safe.
Meanwhile, troops are repelling a group of terrorists who are trying to enter the country through Gamborou Ngala. A group of them who fizzled into the town are being pursued.
The BBC in a tweet has reported that 480 Nigerian soldiers have defected to Cameroon and have been taken to the Northern city of Maroua.
Before now, the Defence Headquarters had mentioned ‘acts of cowardice and indiscipline within the army in the ongoing fight against terrorism’ as a problem.