Authorities of the Nigerian Army said its search of the United Nations (UN) premise in Maiduguri on Friday was part of efforts to clear remnants of Boko Haram insurgents.
Reports had quoted an official of the UN office lamenting the action of the army which it said would jeopardize the efforts of the organization in providing the needed help to thousands of victims of the insurgency war.
The reports had also claimed that the army may have taken the action on suspicions that a highly placed infleuntial criminal, and member of the terrorist sect may be living in the house which belonged to late former Governor of the state, Malla Kachallah, before it was rented out for UN use.
However, the spokesperson, 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Lt. Col. Samuel Kingsley, said in a statement released in Maiduguri that the building fell into a spectra of area in which it had carried out a condone and search operation in Maiduguri and its environs to clear remnants of Boko Haram insurgents.
According to him, “On 10th August 2017, the Theatre Command received information from credible sources that some high profiled Boko Haram insurgents infiltrated into Pompomari-ByePass area of Maiduguri.
“It therefore became expedient to take pre-emptive action by combing the general area through a cordon and search operations.
“The operation was successfully conducted as over 30 houses were searched. One of such building included a property which was said to be occupied by United Nations Staff, although the property did not carry a UN designation.
“On the whole, operation in the general area was successfully concluded but no arrest was made because the suspects were not found,” Kingsley said.
The spokesperson further stated that troops under the Operation LAFIYA DOLE had been conducting several clearance as well as cordon and search operations in urban and rural areas within the Theatre.
The operations, he said, had yielded some successes in the past weeks, as it had forced Boko Haram insurgents to change tactics and resort to suicide bombing targeting military locations and the populace.
He listed other areas affected by the Cordon and Search operation as Jiddari –Polo, Muna Garage and Jakana among others.
“The command wishes to assure the general public that the operations are being conducted to safeguard lives and properties but not targeted at any individual or group.
“Members of the public are cautioned against peddling rumours which may cause disaffection and to remain law abiding”, he warned.
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