By Braxton Ilobah
As controversy trails the fate of Major Christopher Datong of Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) abducted by gunmen in the hours of Tuesday after two other officers were killed, Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has dismissed as false the allegation that the personnel on duty at the Close Circuit Television ( CCTV) monitoring room were asleep when the bandits struck.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Director, Defence Information, Major General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyerr said “the attention of the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) have been drawn to a news publication by Cable online news media claiming that personnel on duty at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) CCTV monitoring room were sleeping when bandits attacked the officers’ residential quarters leading to the death of two officers and the abduction of one other officer.”
“The Nigerian Armed Forces wishes to state categorically that the allegation is untrue and hence challenge the Cable Online to publish forthwith a verifiable proof of personnel sleeping during the incident.”
“It is therefore imperative to caution the Cable Online media to guide against being used as a propaganda tool by enemies of our dear country. The Cable Online should not consciously or unconsciously collaborate with these unscrupulous elements to spread unverified stories on the unfortunate event that occurred at NDA Kaduna while tarnishing the good image and reputation of personnel of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) in the eyes of the civil populace.”
The Defence authorities added that “It is perhaps important to mention that the AFN as a professional force consists of highly trained personnel who are dedicated to their duties of protecting lives and property of all Nigerians.”
The Defence spokesman further said “Let me use this opportunity, to reiterate that the NDA authorities, acting on the directive of the Chief of Defence Staff has constituted a board of enquiry to ascertain the remote and immediate cause(s) of the breach of security with a view to sanction any personnel found culpable and also prevent future occurrence.”
“Let me also assure that we shall continue to update the general public as events unfold as we are all aware the search and rescue of the abducted officer is still on. Troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria will continue with it’s operations to ensure all those involved in the dastardly act are brought to justice.”