By OKOSUN OKHUELEIGBE
The military high command has disassociated itself from the insinuation making the round in some sections of the media that the military has resorted to the use of mercenaries in the ongoing counterinsurgency operation in the North East.
Describing the story as “utterly scurrilous and a calculated attempt to smear the good image of the Nigerian military, the Director, Defence Information (DDI) Col Rabe Abubakar said in Abuja that the orchestrated campaign was aimed at rubbishing the efforts of the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies who have been working hard to contain the insurgencies in the North East.
He reiterated that the Defence Headquarters have enough trained soldiers to fight the terrorists in the North East without resorting to the use of mercenaries. He noted that the military has significantly up-scaled its troops and equipment deployment since the Presidential mandate and does not need mercenaries whether foreign or local to rout and bring to an end guerrilla movements in the North East within the stipulated time.
Col Abubakara added: “The DHQ wishes to state that the report is a covert campaign of blackmail by disgruntled elements in society designed to pit the Nigerian people against their armed forces. These blackmailers are not only unhappy because of the progress the military is making in the fight but more so because their illicit gains in the war has been effectively stopped.
“The Nigerian Armed Forces are doing all that are needed to be done to ensure that the terrorists in the North East and all forms of criminalities are brought under effective control within the shortest possible time.
Col Abubakar appealed to the general public to “discontinuance unfounded rumours and give the armed forces their support and encouragement in the ongoing war against terror and not giving in to cheap blackmail and propaganda.”