Nigerian Army has denied media reports that the military has engaged mercenaries from South Africa to prosecute the campaign against terror group, Boko Haram, in the North-East.
The Defence Headquarters said in a statement on Friday that the claim was false and inspired by a desire to tarnish the reputation of the military.
Acting Director, Defence Information, Col. Rabe Abubakar Abubakar said those behind the story were only out to rubbish the current productive efforts of the security agencies involved in the ongoing campaign against the terrorists in the North-East.
He was reacting to media reports that the military had taken a decision to use mercenaries in the ongoing war against the insurgents.
The acting Defence spokesman, who described the reports as a cheap blackmail, urged members of the pubic to disregard the story and to continue to give the necessary support to security agencies in their current fight to stop the Boko Haram’s menace.
The statement read, “The insinuation and the entire story are utterly scurrilous and a calculated attempt to smear the good image of the Nigerian military. The orchestrated campaign is aimed at rubbishing the efforts of the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies who are working hard to contain the insurgency in the North-East.”
He stressed that the military had enough trained personnel to prosecute the war, saying the troops did not need the services of mercenaries or foreign troops to win the war.
Abubakar added that the military authorities had ensured adequate deployment of troops and equipment for the battles since the Presidential directive to bring the insurgency to an end in December.
He said, “Also, the military has significantly up-scaled its troops and equipment deployment since the Presidential mandate and does not need mercenaries whether foreign or local to rout out and put an effective end to guerrilla movements in the North-East within the allotted time.
“Since the Presidential order, the military has been fighting the insurgents more and more effectively and all Nigerians, irrespective of where they live, have come to understand that we are making progress.”
He added that the report was the handiwork of people with the intent to pitch Nigerians against the Armed Forces.