Military plays down Al-Qaeda, ISIS incursion into Nigeria

The Defence Headquarters has allayed fears of Nigerians over alleged plans by Al-Qaeda and ISIS to make an inroad into Southern Nigeria and penetrate the north-western part of the country.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, in a chat with newsmen in Abuja Thursday, said there was nothing to fear about the claim.

The U.S. had said that Al-Qaeda and ISIS were looking to make an inroad into Southern Nigeria and that Al-Qaeda had started penetrating the north-western part of the country.

Dagvin Anderson, Commander of the U.S. special operations command, Africa, made the claim in a digital briefing on Wednesday.

Enenche, however, said that the claim was nothing but just an alarm and that Nigeria security agencies were equal to the task, urging the pubic not be afraid of such claim.

The coordinator, who described the statement as a wakeup call or form of advice, said that the security agencies were on top of the situation.

“On the issue that terrorists from other zones are coming to the country, I think it will be good for us to be keeping records as events are unfolding, for me this is not the first time they are raising such an alarm.

“It’s as good as may be five or ten years ago, and the armed forces and the country are conscious of it.

“When the conflict in Libya was declared ended and which actually was not, what happened? It was we, our NIA and the SSS that said these people were moving which is true.

“Have we not captured foreigners that have been terrorising us in this country?

“So it is just a piece of advice or call that you still keep doing what you are doing, of which I can assure the general public that the security agencies are on top of that,” he said.

Enenche said that the military in their recent exploits had captured some foreigners who came from neighbouring countries in Niger State.

“Where are they coming from, why do we have ISWAP here now, or is ISWAP indigenous from Nigeria? No. So it is telling you the obvious and I want to tell you that look, continue to ensure that you have measures in place to continue taming them.

“I read the details of the presentation, it was not accusing, it was not specific, it is like saying you people, should put efforts to continue to contain them.

“Because when pressure is on them from other climes, they will still continue to increase their influx,” he said.


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