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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Allegation of mass killing by troops of Nigerian army in South East is despicably false

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The Nigerian Army (NA) has noted with dismay, a mischievous and systematic campaign of calumny by Simon Ekpa, a self acclaimed leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafran terrorists’ group. The self acclaimed leader through spurious and unfounded claims raised alarm on a viral video alleging that troops of the NA are carrying out mass killing of innocent Igbos at a river and dumping them in the water. The report also contained some unimaginable and not well couched falsehood targeted at whipping-up negative sentiments against troops and inciting anarchy in the South East region.

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 Simon Ekpa and his associates.

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 temporarily halting vehicular movement along the route, until the test firing was safely concluded. Observers were also kept at a safe distance, maintaining transparency and prioritizing the safety of all involved.

Additionally, 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 false alarmist and 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.

Consequently, the NA wishes to enjoin 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.

The NA and indeed sister services and other security agencies remain steadfast in our 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.

We reaffirm our dedication to protecting the lives and livelihoods of all Nigerians, and will continue to work tirelessly to uphold peace and order. We encourage the public to seek verified information and 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.

The Nigerian Army remains a pillar of stability and security, committed to the well-being of the nation and her people.

ONYEMA NWACHUKWU

Major General

Director Army Public Relations

5 June 2024

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