A former Chief of Army Administration, Major-General Garba Wahab (retired), has revealed reason for Boko Haram’s deadly attack on troops at Metele, blaming the attack on information leakage.
Wahab, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, advised the military to be careful in its intelligence gathering approach, in the war against terror.
“The military needs to look at information that leads to intelligence. You cannot afford to allow your information to leak. A lot of information is leaking, it is your information you turn into intelligence,” he said.
His comments follow a week after the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a Boko Haram splinter group, killed at least 44 soldiers in attacks on three military bases in Borno State.
New details revealed that at least 113 soldiers were killed in the pre-dusk attack on 157 Task Force Battalion in Borno State on November 18.
And about 153 soldiers still missing as of November 24, nearly a week after the attack, and wounded troops evacuated to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, for treatment.
Those killed included the commander of the battalion, whom PREMIUM TIMES identified on November 20 as a lieutenant colonel.
It was not immediately clear how many soldiers were manning the base during the attack, which was linked to Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA).
On November 22, a soldier who escaped the attack and witnessed how his colleagues were killed by insurgents told PREMIUM TIMES 70 bodies had been confirmed.
But PREMIUM TIMES has now learnt from top officers that the casualty had risen significantly to 118 soldiers, comprising 113 soldiers and five officers.
Following the deadly attack, prominent Nigerians and groups, including the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have called on the presidency to launch a proper probe into the cause of the incident.
On Sunday, the Socio-economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the spending of defence and military budgets between 1999 and 2018.
But the retired Army chief admitted that the military cannot completely eradicate terror.
He advised the Federal Government to boost the morale of the troops fighting Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast.
Wahab added, “We need to reassess. Is the equipment okay? Are the troops motivated? If the will to fight is not there, it behoves disaster because you must continuously motivate them.
Whether you like it or not, a lot of issues are involved. And it is not only military because there is no military solution to this. You need to also look at the political issue, the economic and sociological perspectives.”