Boko Haram: Nigeria Denies Hiring Mercenaries
The Nigerian government has denied media reports that it is relying on mercenaries in prosecuting the war against Boko Haram insurgency in the North east, describing the claims as insulting and aimed at smearing the image of the military.
Defence spokesperson, Rabe Abubakar, a Colonel, in a statement issued Friday said the military has enough men and equipment to successfully end the insurgency within the given time by President Mohammadu Buhari.
“The insinuation and the entire story are utterly scurrilous and a calculated attempt to smear the good image of the Nigerian military.
The orchestrated campaign is aimed at rubbishing the efforts of the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies who are working hard to contain the insurgencies in the North East,” the statement read.
“Also, 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 out and put an effective end to guerrilla movements in the North East within the allotted time,” it stated further.
Rabe said since the President gave the order, Nigerians have come to appreciate the efforts of the troops, adding that those making claims of involvement of mercenaries were not happy that the war is being won by the military.
“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,” he concluded.
While assuring Nigerians of its resolve to rid the northeast of insurgency, the military called for more support and encouragement from citizens.