Defence Headquarters said that there was no cause for alarm over the reported retaken of Marte town in Borno by insurgents as steps were being taken to address the untoward development.
The DHQ said in a statement posted on its website on Saturday that “there has not been any static deployment of troops in Marte for quite sometimes.’’
The statement said that was in line with the need to emphasise more aggressive patrol of many threatened isolated communities while assault on forests and mountain hideouts of terrorists was ongoing.
“Only occasional patrols and surveillance have been undertaken towards the area as the bulk of troops are engaged in the operation to clear the terrorists from all identified enclaves in the forest
“Besides, Marte had been deserted by citizens most of whom had fled to other towns while others are in IDP camps located in Maiduguri and other places.
“It is understandable that terrorists escaping from the offensive operations in Sambisa and other enclaves are looking for place of respite,’’ it said.
According to the statement, they (terrorists) must have found Marte deserted and decided to harbour there.
“Now that their presence is reported, the issue will definitely be addressed in a very short while.
“There is really no cause for alarm in the way some reports are presenting this situation as if it is a meaningful resurgence of terrorists.
“This will only fool the terrorists and their sympathisers into false celebration. There will certainly be no respite for terrorists anywhere in Nigeria,’’ it said.