Army denies killing150 pro-Biafra protesters
The Nigerian Army has denied engaging in a mass killing of pro-Biafra protesters, describing an Amnesty International (AI) report which stated otherwise as ‘unfounded’ and ‘unfortunate’.
Amnesty said about 150 protesters were killed by Nigerian forces between August 2015 and August 2016. The group said it reached the number after analysing 87 videos, 122 photographs and 146 eyewitness testimonies relating to demonstrations and other gatherings between August 2015 and August 2016
But Nigerian Army insisted it never carried out an extra-judicial killing.
“We wish to debunk the insinuation that our troops perpetrated the killing of defenceless agitators,” said Colonel Sani Usman in a statement on Wednesday. “This 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.”
Usman claimed the military and other security agencies, during the period, exercised “maximum restraints despite the flurry of provocative and unjustifiable violence” perpetrated my members of MASSOB and IPOB.
The army spokesman alleged that security operatives were always targeted by members of the group whenever they protested, noting that five policemen were and several soldiers wounded between May 30 and 31, 2016 by the groups.
AI said it shared the key findings of its report with the Federal Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Interior, Inspector General of Police and the Director-General of the State Security Services.
It further disclosed that responses received from the Attorney General and Inspector General of Police did not answer the questions raised in the report.