The report by AFP claimed that the news did not get out fast, because the terrorists destroyed communication powerlines.
Colonel Rabe Abubakar, the director of defence information, commented on the Yobe massacre in an interview with Channels TV’s defence correspondent, Amaka Okafor.
He said that the report by the AFP was false.
The renowned news agency reported on Tuesday, August 18, that about 150 people, mostly women and children, were killed by the Boko Haram terrorists.
An eyewitness was quoted as saying that the gunmen were escaping bombardment from the military before they moved into the remote village of Kukuwa-Gari, opening fire on the villagers.
But Colonel Abubakar said the story was fabricated and untrue.
A tweet by the Nigerian army headquarters also affirmed the colonel’s claims.
The following statement was also posted on Defence Headquarter's facebook page countering the initial report by AFP...
Attention of the Defence Headquarters has been drawn to the media reports which claim that over 150 people from Kukuwa-Gari village were shot dead by Boko Haram gunmen in Yobe State while many others fleeing from the gunmen drowned in Yobe River in the mid-afternoon yesterday. The military wishes to state that the story is not true, utterly scurrilous and very misleading.However, the truth of the matter is the military got an intelligence report concerning a planned attack by Boko Haram on Kukuwa-Gari village in Yobe State. Following the tip-off, troops and civilian JTF laid ambush between Kukuwatashi and Kukuwa-Gari villages. The insurgents ran into them and a gun-battle ensued in which four Boko Haram members and one civilian JTF lost their lives.At the end of the encounter, 2 x AK 47 rifles and 2 x motorcycles used by the Boko Haram terrorists were recovered from them.The Armed Forces therefore implore the media to always seek clarification of stories before going to press as most of these unsubstantiated reports tend to embolden or encourage the terrorists to believe they are invincible, thus instilling perpetual fear in the minds of the citizens, especially, those in the contested areas of the North East.The military is doing all within its power to protect lives and property of Nigerians in any part of the country and thus, solicits cooperation and understanding of the media to be partners in progress in this noble task.