The Nigerian Army says it is not its duty to expose sponsors of the Boko Haram insurgents.
At a media briefing on Thursday, John Enenche, coordinator of defence media operations, said although the army is aware that some groups are being sponsored, its duty is to defeat “terrorism and other criminality”.
Enenche said it is the responsibility of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Department of State Services (DSS) to find out and disclose the identities of those sponsoring the criminal groups.
“The kind of weapons these terrorists are using like the gun truck and other sophisticated weapons are expensive and how much are they stealing to procure those arms, that have to say that they are sponsored and heavily funded,” he said.
“But like I said, it is not the duty of the military to uncover the sponsors. Our duty is to remain in the frontline and defeat terrorism and other criminality and that is what we are doing.
“We have the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Department of State Security (DSS), it is their responsibility to gather intelligence on the sponsors of the terrorist sand not the military.”
On why the military is yet to invade the Sambisa forest, Enenche said troops are trying to avoid collateral damage that may result from “total bombardment of the forest”.
He said some civilians collaborate with insurgents in the area and this makes it difficult for troops to carry out major attacks on identified locations.
He, however, noted that the army has made tremendous successes in the fight against insecurity.
“In the north-east, troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE (OPLD) recorded commendable results in the past two weeks,” he said.
“During the period under review, troops conducted several operations at various locations, which led to the neutralization of terrorists, destruction of their equipment and structures as well as recovery of various items.
“Between 18 and 30 June 2020, the air task force of OPLD conducted intensive airstrikes to mark the launching of its subsidiary operation LONG REACH along the fringes of the Sambisa Forest in Borno state following concerted intelligence surveillance reconnaissance missions.
“The air operations led to the destruction of a BHT tactical command centre housing some of their high-value leaders and neutralized several of their fighters at Garin Maloma and Yuwe villages. Additionally, airstrikes conducted at Buka Korege, Bula Bello, Ngoske, Tongule, Bukar Meram and Warshale Villages led to the destruction of several BHT locations and gun trucks while scores of fighters were effectively neutralized.”