Officials in northern Nigeria say President Muhammadu Buhari has exaggerated the military's success against Boko Haram after an American commander testified that the extremist group still holds territory.

Appearing at a summit in Abu Dhabi in January, Buhari told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that Boko Haram was "currently not holding any territory today as we speak" — a claim that was met with skepticism back home.

Last week, Gen. David Rodriguez, commander of U.S. Africa Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington that Boko Haram "does own some significant territory in northern Nigeria."

Ngari Modu, a local official in northeastern Borno state, said Rodriguez's statement indicates the government is misleading the public over the true state of the campaign to eliminate the extremists.