The Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ), has today refuted claims in a trending video where a large number of corpses were seen been dumped into a mass grave, had anything to do with their “ongoing military operations in the North West and North Central geographical zones of the country.”
Following the seizure of phone lines as part of a strategy to emasculate the influence of bandits in said region, the Nigerian military is said to have embarked on a fierce offensive against the ransom-seeking abductors who mostly target students and primary school children.
As a result of the no hold bar offensive against the deadly bandits, a video emerged showing how unidentified bodies were being dumped into a large dug up for mass burial.
Though the video celebrated the “victory of the military”, authorities at the Nigeria Defence headquarters frowned at it even as they labelled it as ” false and malicious”.
“The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has been notified of a trending picture with the caption “Alhamdulillah. ZamfaraMustSecure” and several other viral gory pictures and videos of dumping into a mass grave of persons purportedly to have been killed in the ongoing military operations in the North West and North Central geographical zones of the country,” a statement signed by the Director Defence Information, Benjamin Sawyerr, a Major General, reads.
“It is pertinent to state that the allegation is false and malicious and has no link whatsoever with the operations being conducted by troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN). However, indeed, the AFN is presently conducting a successful military operation against bandits and kidnappers in line with its constitutional roles.
“These operations are conducted in strict compliance with the rules of armed conflicts, utmost professional manner, strict adherence to rules of engagement and respect for fundamental human rights and dignity.
“The viral pictures being circulated have nothing in common with the ongoing operations. This callous action of linking ongoing operations with falsehood is deliberate and thus, seeks to tarnish the good image and reputation of the AFN. For the record, the AFN conducts a fortnightly defence media operations brief in which pictures of the operations are displayed to complement achievements in the ongoing operations.
“Any attempt, therefore, to portray the AFN in a bad light as a crude force is unacceptable and unpatriotic. We, therefore, urge the general public to please disregard the gory pictures.
“The AFN will not rest on it’s oars in performing the Constitutional mandate of ensuring that our nation remains safe and peaceful for all law-abiding citizens. September 2021
The Humanitarian Times understands the degree of vehemence that the Nigerian military authority is deploying to refute and dissociating itself with the alleged viral mass burial of bandits footage. Already the Nigerian army is still battling to absolve itself allegation of war crime claims by Amnesty International (AI) that they were involved in a secret burial of corpses following bloody clash soldiers had with members of the Islamic Shia Group in Kaduna state in 2015.
Though the Nigeria army had maintained that its soldiers were never involved in any secret burial, AI insisted that “more than 350 people are believed to have been unlawfully killed by the military between 12 and 14 December, following a confrontation between members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) and soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna state.”