Army Denies Alleged Mass Killings In South-East

Nigerian Army

The Nigerian Army (NA) has dismissed as ‘false and mischievous’ allegations of mass killings by troops of Operation Udo Ka in the South-East region.

A self-acclaimed leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Simon Ekpa, had in a now viral video accused the military of mass killing of innocent Igbos at Oliver and dumping them in the River.

But, the Director, Army Public Relations, Major General Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement on Wednesday, said contrary to the false report, investigations revealed that the troops in the video footage were not personnel of the Nigerian Army as the insignia visible on their berets clearly identifies them as personnel of the Nigerian Navy, who were engaged in a routine test firing of a weapon system mounted on a vehicle.

He added that in order to ensure the safety of other road users and commuters, the troops took precautionary measures by halting vehicular movement along the road, until the test firing was safely concluded.

He also stated that the exercise, contrary to the allegations, took place in the South-West park of the country and not South-East.

“Contrary to the falsehood being spread from the devious propaganda machinery of the desperate and self-serving terrorists’ leader, the NA wishes to state that it has conducted a comprehensive investigation on the allegations made by devious infamous leader and his associates.

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Accordingly, we wish to categorically refute these baseless claims by throwing more light on the occurrence. In the first instance, the troops in the video footage are not personnel of the Nigerian Army as the insignia visible on their berets clearly identifies them as personnel of the Nigerian Navy, who were engaged in a routine test firing of a weapon system mounted on a vehicle and in order to ensure the safety of other road users and commuters, the troops took precautionary measures by halting vehicular movement along the road, until the test firing was safely concluded. Observers were also kept at a safe distance, maintaining transparency and prioritizing the safety of all involved,” the Army spokesman stated.

He continued: “Secondly, preliminary findings also indicate that the occurrence took place in the Southwest region of the country and not the Southeast as advertently portrayed by the alarmist propagandists.

“Furthermore, it was observed that there was no evidence to support the assertion that individuals were being shot at in the river, nor have there been any report from local communities regarding the discovery of corpses in the area,” he added.

He, therefore, urged members of the public to disregard “the unfounded claims and irredeemable falsehood being propagated by Simon Ekpa and his associates, whose apparent objective is to disseminate misinformation and incite unrest.”

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He reassured that the NA, sister services and other security agencies remain steadfast in their commitment to maintaining peace and order, ensuring the safety and security of all citizens in the country.

“The Nigerian Army is vigilant and prepared to counter any attempt to destabilize the southeast region,” he said.

General Nwachukwu reaffirmed the NA’s dedication to protecting the lives and livelihoods of all Nigerians and will continue to work tirelessly to uphold peace and order.

He further urged the public to seek verified information in order not be misled by those who aim to incite violence and disorder.

“We salute the courage and patriotism of well-meaning and law-abiding ndigbo, domiciled in the South East and across the nation, who despite the brazen atrocities and threats being perpetrated by Simon Ekpa and his terrorists group, have continued to build bridges of peace and harmony across the country and promoting our national ideal of a united Nigeria,” he stated.

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