The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina says the military all over the world rarely and does not give information on its casualties.
The presidential adviser said this during an interview on Channels Television programme, Sunday Politics.
When questioned on the conflicting figures in circulation on the actual number of deaths in the attacks by Boko Haram at the military camp base in Metele, Guzamala, Borno State, Adesina said it is a standard procedure not to release the number of casualties in a military attack.
“There is a standard procedure, when things like that happen you don’t go out to talk immediately. You have to reach the Next of Kin. You need to first get them to be aware of what happened to their people before you then speak officially.
“There is a standard procedure for the military to do this.
“All over the world, the military does not or rarely discloses the figure of its casualties, it’s not just in Nigeria,” he said.
Although Adesina described the situation as sad and unfortunate, he said the attack on the military base is not enough to conclude that the insurgents now have control over the region.
Speaking further on the conflicting number of casualties recorded in the recent attacks, he said it is the responsibility of the military to give an authoritative figure of the casualties, not the presidency.
“The Presidency did not mention any figure. It is not for the presidency to mention a figure, it is for the military because it is purely a military thing.
“It is the military who can give you an authoritative figure in terms of casualties, not the presidency,” he said.
However, Mr Adesina’s statement has generated reactions as fact check shows that on the contrary, it is a standard practice by governments of developed countries to inform citizens on the number of casualties during military battles.
The United States Department of Defence, on its website, gave up-to-date information on casualty figure in different US military operations. American war and military operations casualties with the lists and statistics are also released in a 48-page pdf document.
The United Kingdom on the government website also provided information on casualty figures of military officers, including the cause of death.
The government of Canada on its website honour the members of the Canadian Armed Forces who lost their lives in the line of duty, releasing the details and number of their fallen heroes.
France also has a dedicated website where they keep the database of military officers who died in different battles.