Nigeria soldiers who survived the Boko Haram attack in Metele, Borno state, have sent an SOS to President Muhammadu Buhari, urging him to probe the quality of weapons procured by the military authorities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in a video sent to journalists, the soldiers accused the military authorities of providing them with obsolete weapons.
They also accused the military authorities of negligence which resulted in the death of scores of their colleagues in a series of attacks coordinated by the Al Barnawi faction of Boko Haram.
In the video, two soldiers who claimed to be among the survivors of the attack narrated the abject fate of the troops. A narrator was heard saying:
“See what the Nigerian army has been doing to us, they brought us here. See how they killed our fellow soldiers, they burn them inside the tanks.
“They are using us to make money; why? Are we not human beings? They can kill soldiers inside a tank; if rocket propelled grenade (RPG) can penetrate M-RAG vehicle, what of a fellow human being?
“This is the location called ‘Metele’, This is a place they (the insurgents) took over 40 barrel and these people want to use us, and within one week they killed over 200 soldiers and we are now 147, they want to waste us here. It is a lie, our blood is not here.
“Please; the federal government should intervene before the insurgents come and kill us. They mocked us and said we are Zombies; animals, we do not know our rights, any order given to us we will follow.
“Look at what they did to this T12 tank; it is obsolete. It was a 1983 Czechoslovakian tank procured during Shagari’s regime. Is this the money the federal government provided to procure weapons?
“All the equipment are not working. When it fired two shots it stopped. All the weapons are obsolete and bought during Shagari (1979-1983).
“We know about the money the federal government gave to them but the Nigerian army had turned us into a business”.
In its reaction to online videos and photos relating to Boko Haram attacks, the Nigerian army warned against the indiscriminate circulation of fake video footage of Boko Haram’s purported attack on the military base at Metele.
The army expressed concern over the “myriads of photos and video clips being recklessly distributed on various social media platforms”.
According to the Nigerian army:
“It is indeed shocking to see how these well doctored propaganda materials from enemies of the state succeeded in creating fear and unrest in the polity.
“These doctored materials are obviously serving the purposes intended by the terrorists to misinform the populace; spread panic, hatred, religious intolerance and undermine national security.
“The Nigeria army wants to categorically state that the videos and images making rounds as the purported attack on Metele base are false and do not in any way portray the reality of the situation on the ground”.
According to the army it will not condone the act of spreading fake news, saying it violates the provisions of the cybercrime laws.
The army said it will: “henceforth, report the infractions and file case against individuals or groups who deliberately spread fake news that aim to undermine national security in courts of competent jurisdictions”.
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