Two international journalists, Anna Cunningham and Phil Hazelwood, have disagreed with Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, over his claim on the casualty figures from the deadly Boko Haram attack on soldiers at Metele, Borno State last week.
The government and the army are yet to come up with an official number of soldiers killed and have also refused to accept media reports that more than 100 soldiers were killed.
Adesina, on Channels TV Sunday night, claimed that all over the world, the military does not or rarely discloses the figure of casualties.
But Cunningham, who freelance for CBS News and France 24; and Hazelwood, AFP Bureau Chief for Nigeria, Benin, Ghana and Togo, disagreed with Adesina. They discredited Adesina’s claim, saying they have been invited to countries like US, Canada, Australia and others for press briefings about military casualties that were properly disclosed.
Cunningham wrote: “I have reported on the funerals of soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The media were invited to cover the funeral services.Those deaths were made known by the MOD with permission from next of kin.”
Hazelwood shared links to government documents in Canada, Australia and UN operations.