Gashigar attack: Army spokesman accuses journalist of prejudice and contempt

The spokesman of the Nigerian Army Colonel Sani Usman has responded to a publication by a Deputy Editor of the ThisDay newspaper.

In a statement on Saturday Colonel Usman faulted the editor, Yemi Adebowale for his piece titled “Buratai should respond appropriately to Gashigar Attack”.

He said Adebowale should educate himself and ought to stop displaying his “prejudice, contempt and ignorance”.

Read full statement below:

Good morning Mr Yemi Adebowale, I have just read your piece titled “Buratai should respond appropriately to Gashigar Attack” on page 11 of today’s Thisday newspaper in which you are a Deputy Editor. It is really a pity that you do not have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the subject at hand or working of the military to write or comment.

If you do, you should have understood that there is no conflicting positions between what I said and the updates and further details provided by the Theatre Commander, Operation LAFIYA DOLE on the above mentioned attack. We must look at the sequence of events knowing well that this is an unconventional war situation and in line with the position of the Defence Spokesman yesterday, the pockets of attacks are not enough to stop the celebration that Boko Haram terrorists have been defeated.

I must tell you that I was so disappointed with you when you made reference to my response to an enquiry by your colleague without equally quoting the question he asked and putting it in that perspective. If at all you follow things, you would have known that I was the one that issued a statement on Tuesday 18th October 2016 in respect of the attack.

In fact, many of your senior colleagues called to praise our sincerity, while others query why we should talk about it at all. In it, I made it explicitly clear that troops were missing. So, how can you say that I said that it is not true? In any case, the said journalist was asking question whether it was true 83 soldiers were missing and my answer was that it was not true and went further state that he should ask Premium Times how they come about that information.

It is most uncharitable of you to state that our troops were ill-equipped. The issue of troops having low morale is also not true.

For you to request that the Chief of Army Staff should respond shows the level of your prejudice, contempt and ignorance of things. Both the Theatre Commander and my humble self speak for the Nigerian Army and have no cause whatsoever to mislead the public or anybody. In any case what you were saying is that no one should believe anything about Thisday newspaper unless it came from Mr Nduka Ogbeibeina, the publisher of Thisday.

Consequently, I demand an unreserved apology from you for casting aspersions on my integrity and honour. You should also please educate yourself on any subject matter before penning your thoughts.

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