The United Nations has lamented the search carried out on its Maiduguri base on Friday. Edward Kallon, the body’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, said the search was unauthorised and could hinder the body’s works in the region.
“At circa 0500 hours today (Friday), members of the Nigerian security forces entered the UN base for humanitarian workers in Maiduguri without authorisation. 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 information at this time regarding the reason or motivations for the unauthorised search. The Humanitarian Coordinator is working closely with the Government of Nigeria to resolve this issue. The humanitarian crisis in Nigeria’s North-East is one of the most severe in the world today.
“I call upon the Government of Nigeria to provide clarification.
“The United Nations and more than 50 non-governmental humanitarian organisations are working in support of the Government of Nigeria to provide aid, including food, safe water and medicine, to some 6.9 million people in need in the Northeast,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has said, through Kingsley Samuel, its 7th Division spokesperson, that the action was part of its counter-insurgency activities of its Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole. Samuel said the army had been conducting cordon and search operations in urban and rural areas of the state.
“It has forced the Boko Haram terrorists to change tactics and resort to the employment of suicide bombers to target military locations and the populace. This necessitated the need to intensify cordon and search in the Maiduguri metropolis and environment.
“In the last one week, cordon and search operations were conducted in Jiddari –Polo, Muna Garage, and Jakana amongst several other areas. On August 10, 2017, the Theatre Command received information from one of its credible sources that some high-value Boko Haram suspects had infiltrated into Pompomari Bypass.
“It, therefore, became expedient to take preemptive action by combing the general area through a cordon and search operation. The operation was successfully conducted as over 30 houses were searched.
“One of such included a property, which was said to be occupied by the United Nations staff members, although the property did not carry a UN designation.
“On the whole, the operation in the general area was successfully concluded but no arrest was made because the suspects were not found.”