The Nigerian Army has apologised to the public for issuing a statement that turned out to be false on last week’s attack on geologists from the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) who were with some officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the Lake Chad region.
According to the army, more bodies, comprising five soldiers, 11 Civilian-JTF members and five oil exploration workers were further recovered by a military rescue team.
The military institution had claimed to have rescued all the NNPC workers who were carrying out a survey on oil exploration in the Lake Chad and that nine of its soldiers were killed during the ambush. But the claim that all the workers were rescued turned out to be false.
A statement by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen Sani Usman late Saturday said the earlier information on the incident about the rescue was regrettable and that it was not deliberate.
This is a refreshing character shift on the part of the army institution which had been so protective of its capabilities and viewed operational losses and tactical failures as admission of weakness.
The statement reads: “The incident of 25th July 2017 where some Boko Haram terrorists ambushed our troops including members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) escorting some staff of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as well as that of University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) on oil exploration in Borno Yesu District of Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno State is unfortunate and highly regrettable.
“Most regrettable also is my earlier release on the said incident about the rescue of all NNPC staff. The error in the statement was not deliberate. The Nigerian Army in this present dispensation is reputed for timely dissemination of information on activities of our troops in all theatre of operations. We have strived to keep the public informed on our activities with no intention of distorting any fact.”