The Presidency has said it is not interested in investigating the killing of troops of the Nigeria army by Boko Haram insurgents in Metele, Borno state.
Shehu Garba, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, made this known on Thursday when he featured as a guest on Channels TV’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, in Abuja.
According to him, probing the circumstances surrounding the Metele attack, which the army authorities said led to the killing of 23 soldiers, would constitute an, “unnecessary distraction for the armed forces.
His words: “I will not agree that investigating the Metele attack is necessary. I would think that if that is done, it will be an unnecessary distraction of the armed forces who are fighting hard with their whole lives to safeguard the country.”
Shehu also declined speaking on the balance of the $1bn security fund sourced from the Excess Crude Account to buy Super Tucano fighter jets and supplementary armaments for fighting the insurgents valued at an estimated sum of $500m.
He simply said: “It is true nearly half of that ($1bn) has been spent on the Super Tucanos. All of the balance been spent? I don’t know. I’ll rather leave it at that.”
The presidential spokesman further stressed that the war against the insurgents is no longer technically defeated but actually won.
He maintained that the recent attacks were handiwork of mercenaries pursuing ciminal economic interests in the Lake Chad basin.
“Beyond technicalities, Boko Haram has been degraded and actually defeated.
“What we are dealing with is that Boko Haram has becomes generic term to describe the kind of activity and terrorism that is cross border happening in the Lake Chad region.
“You can see operationally, the terrorists mostly target food stuffs and livestock. So, economic motive is there.
“When they (Boko Haram) raid, they do not seek the conversion of people to their creed or the sense of their own religion. So, it is an important point to make.
“The re-emergence of of mercenaries (in the Northeast), certainly by non-Nigerians, and deployment of equipment increasingly sophisticated including drones that could last five hours in the air scooping information on sensitive military positions in our country?
“The entire thing calls for new strategy, better understanding and patience by Nigerians.”