The Nigerian Army yesterday said it did not kill 150 pro-Biafran protesters, as alleged in a statement by the global human rights watchdog, Amnesty International (AI).
It said the global rights group appeared determined to wage a campaign of calumny against Nigeria’s military, especially the Army, with a planned release of a report on the alleged mass killing of members of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOD) by the Army.
A statement by Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said the allegation is an “outright attempt to tarnish the reputation of the security forces in general and the Nigerian Army in particular, for whatever inexplicable parochial reasons”.
The Army accused AI for its sustained dabbling into Nigeria’s national security matters in manners that “obliterate objectivity, fairness and simple logic”.
The statement said:
“We wish to debunk the insinuation that our troops perpetrated the killing of defenceless agitators. This is an outright attempt to tarnish the reputation of the security forces in general and the Army in particular, for whatever inexplicable parochial reasons. For the umpteenth time, the Army has informed the public about the heinous intent of this non-governmental organization (NGO), which is never relenting in dabbling into our national security in manners that obliterate objectivity, fairness and simple logic.
“The evidence of MASSOB/IPOB violent secessionist agitations is widely known across the national and international domains. Their modus operandi has continued to relish violence that threatens national security. Indeed, between August 2015 and August 2016, the groups’ violent protests have manifested unimaginable atrocities to unleash the reign of peace, security and stability in several parts of the Southeast.
“A number of persons from the settler communities, who hailed from other parts of the country, were selected for attacks – killed and burnt. Such a reign of hate, terror and ethno-religious controversies that portend grave consequences for national security have been averted severally through the responsiveness of the Army and members of the security agencies.”