The Nigerian Army on Friday declared that it never lost control of Baga town in northern Borno State as against reports that Boko Haram insurgents overran the area.
Major General Lamidi Adeosun, the Chief of Training and Operations, made the clarifications in Maiduguri, Borno State while fielding questions shortly after unveiling new military operations in the North East.
He spoke on behalf of Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff.
Adeosun said the gallant troops successfully repelled the insurgents’ attack and secured Baga and its environs.
According to him, the insurgents had on Wednesday unleashed a coordinated attack on a military base in the town but the gallant troops repelled and pursued the insurgents.
He said: “We have taken control of Baga.
“I am talking about the position of Baga as at yesterday when we stabilised the situation.
“Baga is not in the hands of the Boko Haram insurgents.
“I repeat Baga is not in the hands of the Boko Haram terrorists.
“They contested and lost.”
Confusing reports earlier indicated that Boko Haram insurgents had overrun the fishing town on Nigeria’s border with Chad and Niger Republics, and hoisted their flags, a situation which forced the inhabitants to flee.
Army spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, said the insurgents on Wednesday attacked the 7 Brigade, Multinational Joint Task Force based in the town at about 7pm.
Usman said: “The troops along with their Nigerian Navy counterparts put up a very determined fight to repel the attack throughout the night, while Sector 3 Operation LAFIYA DOLE sent in reinforcement who are in hot pursuit of the terrorists.
“Similarly, a Search and Rescue team has been constituted.
“The Nigerian Air Force component has also been mobilised and are engaging the fleeing terrorists. Unfortunately; a naval personnel was killed in action.”