Reports that an army Colonel, and 10 other officers of the Nigerian Army set ablaze Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) in order to pave way for Boko Haram to advance in Adamawa State has been denied by the military.
According to a recent report in a national daily, the army had arrested a Colonel and some junior officers and soldiers for alleged sabotage.
“It is not true,” said Brig-Gen. Olajide Laleye, Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), while responding to Thisday enquiries.
“No APC was set on fire, at all. There was nothing like that. So the report is not true. How can you say the military ran away (from battle) when such did not happen? There was nothing like setting on fire of the APC, because APC is a weapon on its own. Apart from the fact APC is used to convey troops to the theatre of operations, on its own it is a weapon. So no APC was set on fire”.
Laleye explained that APC was a special weapon that could not just be easily put on fire by any officer or personnel.
He therefore clarified that the Army only made tactical withdrawal in accordance with the outcomes of the battle, explaining that it is derogatory to insinuate that the soldiers “ran away”.
“Let us put it this way, to use the word ‘run away’ is unfair to the military. It can even be that the military in one of its operation made a tactical withdrawal. Yes it is tactical because withdrawal is a tactical maneuver that troops embark on to confirm to the higher commander’s directive or to confirm to the movement of the battle as it rages,” said Laleye.