Nigerian Army, UN bicker over invasion of UN building

Nigerian Army, UN bicker over invasion of UN building

The Nigerian Army on Saturday expressed its readiness to collaborate with the United Nations (UN) humanitarian agencies to achieve the goals of the counter-insurgency campaign.

The searched raised concerns amongst members of the global community with the United Nations directing its humanitarian workers operating in Borno State to remain indoors.

" I was on a call with the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, and I reassured her of our commitment to safeguarding humanitarian workers with the UN and all partners", he said.

"I'm not here to elaborate on the incident, as his Excellency has already done this".

Shettima also put a call through to UN's Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, to reassure the organisation of government's commitment to safeguarding the lives of the humanitarian workers and ensuring respect for worldwide protocol.

The raid happened against a backdrop of strained relations between the Nigerian military and foreign organisations seeking to relieve the humanitarian disaster engulfing the country's northeast.

"The military recorded significant success in various operations conducted in the theatre in the past two weeks".

Spokesperson for 7 Division of the Army, Lt. Col. Samuel Kingsley, said: "As part of ongoing counter insurgency operations, the Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole, has been conducting several clearance as well as cordon and search operations in urban and rural areas within the Theatre".

Rumours have been swirling in Maiduguri that the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, has been hiding out in a compound with the same name.

"It has forced the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) to change tactics and resort to employment of suicide bombers to target military locations and the populace".

"It therefore became expedient to take preemptive action by combing the general area through a cordon and search operations".

The commander added that about 30 houses were searched during the exercise, adding that no arrests were made.

Kallon said the United Nations and more than 50 non-governmental humanitarian organisations were working in support of the Government of Nigeria to support the vulnerable in the North-East Nigeria.

A retired commissioner of police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, however, said there was nothing wrong with the search of the United Nations building by the military since it was geared towards the elimination of terrorism, a goal the world body was also working towards.

Tsav said, "There is nothing wrong with the military searching the United Nations property".

"There have been contacts - we understand from the government that this was a mistake".