MAIDUGURI – Nigerian Army has defended the search carried out by troops at the premises of the United Nations base in Maiduguri, Borno state.
Confirming the raid, spokesperson for Operation Lafiya Dole, Lt. Col Kingsley Samuel, said “On 10th August 2017, Theatre Command received information from one of its credible sources that some high value Boko Haram suspects had infiltrated into Pompomari Bye Pass.
“It therefore became expedient to take preemptive 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 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.
“The command wishes to assure the general public that these operations are being conducted to safeguard lives and properties but not targeted at any individual or group”
The Head, Communications UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Miss Samantha Newport, also confirmed the raid and that the building is indeed, a UN base in Maiduguri.
”On August 11, 2017, at circa 0500 hours, members of the Nigerian security forces entered a United Nations base for humanitarian workers in Maiduguri, Northeast Nigeria, without authorization.
“The security forces carried out a search of the tented camp and left the area at circa 0800 hours.”
“The United Nations does not have any additional information at this time regarding the reason or motivations for the unauthorized search.
“The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator and the Designated Official for Security in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, is liaising with the government of Nigeria.
“The United Nations is extremely concerned that these actions could be detrimental to the delivery of life-saving aid to the millions of vulnerable people in the northeast of Nigeria,” UN statement reads.