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Nigerian Military Accuses Niger Of Aiding Boko Haram
The Defence Headquarters has launched an astonishing diatribe against Niger Republic following reports credited to the country’s military chiefs that its soldiers, unlike Nigeria’s, do not run away from battle.
The small West African country had agreed to contribute 750 troops to the fight against Boko Haram insurgents.
In a rather surprising response, Christopher Olukolade, Nigeria’s defence spokesperson, accused poor Niger of looting and aiding the insurgents by providing them with mercenary support.
At a time when the world is hoping that the African Union’s combined forces can finally take on the Abubakar Shekau-led Boko Haram and defeat it, this latest dispute may prove an unwanted distraction.
A rather angry Olukolade took to his Twitter page with the handle @GENOlukolade to berate Niger’s Defence Ministry and exalt Nigerian military’s professional conduct in tackling the insurgence in spite of the “attacks and insults”.
He said it was unacceptable for anybody to accuse the Nigerian military of cowardice and challenged the Nigerian military to defend the country.
“It is unacceptable for any Foreign Government to say our Soldiers run. This is your Motherland! Defend Her! It is sad a few partisan elements join the Poor Country to insult our Troops,” he said.
He said further: “Our troops have with due decency and professionalism respected borders, unlike others reputed for looting, mercenary engagement/collaboration with terrorists as a way of surviving the poverty in their country.”
While calling on the Nigerian soldier not to be deterred and to defend the country, the defence spokesperson also did not spare those he said were responsible for giving the Nigeriens the opportunity to scorn our military.
According to Olukolade, “Treacherous ones amongst us accorded them effrontery to insult our troops to gain bad press. Don’t compromise your Patriotism!”
Although it is not known what impact this war of words will have on relations between the two neighbours or the effect on the war against Boko Haram, Olukolade said the Nigerian military remains the envy of others and that very soon the battle will be worn, especially with participation from other countries.