10 May, 2013
* the documentary was entitled “The Baga Story” and was produced by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs. It commenced at exactly 2200hrs Nigerian Time(GMT+1) and lasted for about twenty five minutes.
* the video was shot 24th-25th April,2013 while the battle took place 16-17 April,2013
* featured in the video were Major General Lawrence Ngubane, CTOP Defence HQ, Brig General Austin Edokpayi, Commander MJTF and Brig Gen Chris Olukolade, Director of Defence Information
* the crew travelled extensively around the town and showed large tracts which were unscathed while the incidence of burnt houses beside standing ones suggested that heavy weapons might have knocked down some of the buildings
* lots of troops, masked Special Forces commandos, 4WD patrol vans and the odd Otokar Cobra APC were clearly visible in the video.
* the Chairman of Kukawa LGA, Alhaji Konne and the District Head of Baga, Dr Zanna moved round the twon with the generals interviewing locals. Both men stated repeatedly that they were not aware of the presence of any mass graves. There was a lot of human and vehicular traffic noticeable in the video, suggesting that the people are gradually going back to their daily activities. The town is not nearly deserted and the impression of whole streets burned down created in some sections of the global media was perhaps another case of a panic button pushed
* Konne interrogated one volunteer worker who claimed to know where about twenty persons were buried but he said he did not partake in the funerals
* another volunteer who partook in the burials said there were no mass graves since that was against their religious and cultural norms and that he participated in the burial of 16 bodies shortly after 10 bodies had been buried in the same general area – the southern cemetery which was an open expanse of sahelian landscape.
* the generals and leaders were taken to a spot where 25 terrorists who fell in battle were buried by the locals but not in any mass grave(s)
* some of the locals perished when they fell into the Baga Fish Dam during the exchange of fire and the ensuing stampede
* excerpts of a report by Yvonne Ndege of Al Jazeera TV were incorporated into the video. In the clip, she affirmed that she did not see any mass graves and only saw a site where about 20 terrorists were buried separately. She also interviewed a local woman who claimed that the terrorists it was who burnt her home and that this was standard practice for the terrorists whenever they attacked the community
* Baga had a population of 32, 828 persons at the time of the 2006 census while all of Kukawa LG of which Baga is a part, plays host to about 40,000 housing units.
* the terrorists had sacked a school and converted it to their HQ, setting up roadblocks and collecting illegal taxes from locals. The school has been retaken by the MJTF and the terrorists chased out of the town.
* the MTJF Commander, General Edokpayi said that when he asked his Intelligence Officer to carry out a battle damage assessment, he reported the destruction of 150 houses.
* the Operations Officer, Lt Colonel Okochi who was interviewed gave the impression that the fighting took place in the dark. He spoke of his involvement in a patrol where they used halogen lamps and their encounter with the terrorists started while they were doing their routine “friend or foe” drill. According to him, the terrorists responded with bursts of gunfire and began to shout “muje, muje!”(Hausa for ‘let’s go), indicating the commencement of their attack. Thereafter, all hell broke loose as the troops struggled to avoid collateral damage in the difficult circumstance.
* addressing troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force at Baga, the Chief of Training and Operations, Defence Headquarters, General Lawrence Ngubane charged the troops to adhere strictly to the rules of engagement and to be mindful of the fact that their activities are open to scrutiny by the outside world, thanks to satellite imagery.
* the Commander MJTF, General Edokpayi, though a native of Edo State which is located about 1,500 kilometres away by road from Baga, actually interrogated some of the locals in the Hausa language and sometimes acted as translator for the CTOP – DHQ, General Ngubane.