The Nigerian Military has stated that following the encounter between its troops and the insurgents in Operation Lafiya Dole at Gorgi between 21st and 23rd of March 2020, the Defence headquarters said it sent a team to carry out the due operational After Action Procedure, which includes; reconfirmation of casualties and immediate medical evacuation required among others.
At a briefing on Friday, the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche disclosed that only members of the troops were killed in action as against 49 earlier recorded.
“After the exercise, the team made the following findings; Twenty Nine (29) Nigerian Troops were killed in action and Thirty-Nine (39) was wounded in action, as a result of the explosion of the truck carrying logistics and ammunition resupply for the fighting echelon. This is contrary to the figures from the first contact situation report of Forty Seven (47) killed in action and Fifteen (15) wounded in action. This is a common occurrence during combat operations due to the fog of war, encounters or conflicts, when first contact reports are released to higher quarters in contemporary times, to counter false reports and fake news by mischief makers”
Major General Enenche also revealed that the team also found a casualty of over One Hundred (100) Boko Haram Terrorists neutralized as the result of direct fire action and encounter with the troops of the Land Component of the Armed Forces of Nigeria during the clearance of Gorgi.
This pronouncement is coming three days after the casualty figure was given to be (47) forty-seven. But Enenche said Five Hundred (500) and Two Hundred (200) were respectively provided by secondary sources.
The Coordinator of the Media Operations said, ultimately, the Land Component (Army) of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in Operation Lafiya Dole successfully cleared Gorgi and dealt a heavy blow on the enemy, and the end state of clearing Gorgi was achieved.
When asked what measure has been put in place to prevent a re-occurrence of the attack, Enenche said, “It is not a sudden attack, it is not that we are not prepared, it is a combat action. That is called an ambush. Ambush happens as a result of information that you get from supporters, sympathizers this particular one came from sympathizers. So if you are moving along a route, the land component, made up mainly of the Nigerian Army have captured their objectives successfully where they want to liberate. After that, they were now moving to a place where they call exploitation or consolidation. You exploit further of the objective, to ensure were you captured is no longer compromised. It is not new that sympathizers in that place that were enjoying the support of Boko Haram and ISWAP, these people are going and then just one shot into the truck carrying explosives. If we were not professional, I tell you that we would not have succeeded from 2015 up till now with what they have, so we are prepared it is war, it is conflict.
There have also been allegations that the various Arms of the military, the Army and Air Force are not working in synergy, a reason why there are usually casualties. Major General Enenche, gave a contrary opinion saying “‘You are planning your enemy is planning, so the issue of that there is no air support does not arise at all, if, for any reason, the Air Force also did a very good job. It is difficult to even identify Air Force human casualties. For as long as have known, the history of wars, casualties particularly that relates to human beings are not even found, it is from the intelligence search and rescue that will use a Battle Damage Assessment to confirm if they are in a building, if they are moving, you go and level the whole place. You will not see any human beings because it is bombs that they use and the bombs are in virtually of higher capacity. They are the ones we use conventionally. So there is no service rivalry at all. If there was we wouldn’t have even succeeded in the first place”
Military Update on Covid-19
Meanwhile, at a separate briefing, the Nigerian military has recalled some of its retired medical personnel to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic just as it expressed its readiness to respond to medical emergencies.
“Sequel to the on-going fight against the spread of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by the Federal government of Nigeria, the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) has put measures in place to aid the civil authorities. As you may be aware, Section 217 (2) c of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), empowers the Military to act in aid of civil authority. Consequently, a committee was constituted at the Defence Headquarters to ensure that the AFN provides the necessary support to the Federal Government of Nigeria, at this period. It is mainly a non-kinetic military operation with major features of Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities. Equally, it is in line with the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) lines of conducting contemporary military operations in Nigeria.” Military’s spokesman, Major General Enenche said.
According to him, the Armed Forces of Nigeria has developed a two-pronged approach to fight the pandemic, namely; the medical and security approaches. The medical approach is the deployment of military personnel in aid of all Ministries Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government through the provision of land, maritime and air assets, for transportation of emergency cases and medical supplies, as was the case with the medical supplies donated by the Jack Ma Foundation.
Enenche Further said “under the medical aid, we have 17 medical facilities spread across the country, which have been designated for isolation and treatment of confirmed cases of the COVID-19. We have also concluded plans to recall our retired medical personnel to complement those in active service.”
On Security Related Support, he said the Nigerian military will activate its Disaster Response Units across the Country in conjunction with National Emergency Management Agency.
These units will be responsible for the security management of emergencies other than medicals. The Defence Headquarters hereby assures the general public of its total commitment to the human security effort of the Federal Government of Nigeria.