The Nigerian Army (NA) has dismissed report by a group called Inter-Society, alleging attacks on Igbo communities in the South-East region.
A statement by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, who accused the group of endorsing the activities of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network(ESN), said the allegation was an attempt to incite the public against the Army.
“The organisation has tacitly encouraged anarchy in the region through spurious allegations,” he said.
He said the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, otherwise known as InterSociety, has an antecedent of making bogus and unsubstantiated claims, aimed at supporting the activities of outlawed groups in Southern Nigeria.
The group had in its report alleged that in 14 months, troops razed not less than 100 Igbo communities, attacked not less than 1,000 dwelling houses belonging to unarmed civilians and destroyed property valued at not less than N40billion.
The report also alleged that security operatives killed 1,150 innocent and defenceless Ndigbos within the said period.
“While the NA would not like to join issues with such organisations, which sympathise with the bloodletting and other heinous crimes going on in the region, it is instructive to state that the NA remains a cherished national institution that has fought at different fronts for the defence of the sovereignty and unity of Nigeria and would therefore not permit dissidents and their cohorts to undermine national security.
“It is sacrosanct to reaffirm that the NA is a professional force that conducts its operations in line with global best practices and would not under any guise be involved in the suggestive extra judicial killings and such wanton abuse of the fundamental human rights of the citizenry, as alleged by InterSociety. More worrisome is the fact that organizations such as InterSociety turn their eyes the other way, when outlawed groups like IPOB/ESN forcefully deny law abiding citizens their inalienable rights to freedom of movement through their illegal sit-at-home order.
“These organisations and their likes are advised to re-channel their concerns to the crimes committed by these criminals, who abduct, torture, maim kill and cannibalize their traditional rulers, fellow ndigbos and other innocent Nigerians under the guise of struggle for ’emancipation,'” the Army spokesman said.
He restated that the Nigerian Army remains a professional force that adheres to extant rules of engagement and code of conduct for operations.
He, therefore, called on members of the general public to disregard the “unfounded allegations emanating from the propaganda arm of dissident groups in the toga of Civil Society organization.”