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Boko Haram: We don’t need South African mercenaries, says DHQ

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The Defence Headquarters has denied media reports that it was making efforts to enlist the services of South African mercenaries to fight Boko Haram.

Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar
Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar

The acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar, said in a statement on Thursday that the military had the capacity to fight and defeat Boko Haram and was not in need of mercenaries to prosecute the campaign.

He said that the story published by a national newspaper, (not The PUNCH), was untrue and disturbing.

He said that it would be inconceivable for the military to hire mercenaries to fight Boko Haram after the military had won the war against the insurgents.

He said that the pockets of attacks being carried out by the Boko Haram could not be said to be of serious concern as it was not unusual for such isolated incidents to take place in areas infested by terrorists.

“The Defence Headquarters read with dismay the disturbing report on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 edition of a newspaper claiming that foreign mercenaries would be used to fight the Boko Haram sect. This story is not only mischievous and unfounded but also lacks merit and is far from the truth.

“The DHQ wishes to state, with emphasis, that the Nigerian Armed Forces have the capacity and capability to clear the remnants of the terrorists from our land and that is what the military has been doing. It is not necessary or logical to go for mercenaries after the battle against Boko Haram insurgents had been won.

“The pocket of attacks witnessed in the last few days by the fleeing Boko Haram terrorists is isolated, though regrettable. That does not call for serious concerns as it is not uncommon worldwide for such occurrence in any area that was once infested by terrorist groups,” the statement read in part.

Abubakar said the report on the planned use of mercenaries in the counter-insurgency operation was a product of mischief which, according to him, would fail.

The acting defence spokesman, who stressed that the military’s successes against the insurgents could not be contradicted, urged the members of the public to ignore the story.

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