The Defence Headquarters on Monday reacted to the news of the escape of 480 Nigerian soldiers into Cameroon following a clash with Boko Haram terrorists.
Though it admitted that the soldiers were in Cameroon, in a statement on its website, Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters stated that “the Nigerian troops that were found in Cameroon was as a result of a sustained battle between the troops and the terrorists around the borders with Cameroun which saw the Nigerian troops charging through the borders in a tactical maneuver. Eventually they found themselves on Camerounian soil. Being allies the normal protocol of managing such incident demanded that the troops submit their weapons in order to assure the friendly country that they were not on a hostile mission.
Following necessary discussions between Nigerian and Camerounian military authorities, the issues have been sorted out. Subsequently, the troops are on their way back to join their unit in Nigeria.
The reference to the incidence as a defection is therefore not appropriate considering the discussion between the two countries’ military leadership and the series of contacts with the soldiers who have confirmed that they are safe.
Meanwhile, troops are repelling a group of terrorists who are trying to enter the country through Gamborou Ngala. A group of them who fizzled into the town are being pursued”.