Nigerian Army Debunks Allegations Of Arrest, Murder Of 11 Fulani, Looting


The Headquarters, 1 Division of the Nigerian Army has debunked allegations of the arrest and murder of 11 Fulani by its troops, as circulated by a leading newspaper.

This was contained in a statement on Thursday by the Division’s spokesperson, Lt. Col. Musa Yahaya.

The statement was issued following reports by Daily Trust Newspaper, the same day, that 11 decomposing corpses of Fulani were in l discovered in a forest located near an area called “Crossing” within the local government area, and which have been identified by relatives and community members as those of the Fulani allegedly arrested by soldiers in the area at different times.

The allegations against the soldiers also included raiding of houses and looting.

Setting the record straight, the NA explained that troops of the Division on 21 December 2023, responded to a kidnap incident around the Crossing general area of Kachia Local Government. The kidnappers had stabbed a young man and dispossessed him of his motorcycle and the sum of Fifteen Thousand Naira (N15,000).

The troops on arriving at the scene went after the kidnappers and neutralized 3 while one escaped with a gunshot wound and was later arrested by the troops on his way to the hospital.

Yahaya noted that the troops’ first military operation conducted in Tilden Fulani was on 30 December 2023, in which one Mr Ibrahim Abubakar was arrested on suspicion of involvement in insurgent activities.

In the process of investigation, Mr Ibrahim Abubakar admitted to having been an insurgent providing details of his involvement in insurgent activities including spaces of kidnaps and highway raids. He volunteered the names of 5 persons in the community in possession of automatic weapons including his brother.

“This information necessitated another raid on the village. However, on arrival at the village, troops discovered that the 5 suspects had all fled the village with their families. Their houses were thoroughly searched but nothing incriminating was found neither was anything taken away by the troops. Intelligence further revealed that the village is complicit in terrorist activities and that most of the criminals have fled with their families for fear of being eliminated by the militia group in the area”, Yahaya revealed.

The NA categorically affirmed that at no time have troops of the Division killed or executed any Fulani herder or any innocent citizen, collected their money, motorcycles, and ginger, calling the report “a smear campaign to sabotage the efforts of the Division to clear communities in its AOR of insurgency and terrorism”, even as it maintained that the area where the corpses were alleged to have been found has never been visited by the troops of the Division.

“This Division wishes to unequivocally state that the Nigerian Army is a professional force committed to the rule of law and utmost respect for the fundamental human rights of all citizens hence cannot be involved in extra-judicial killings and stealing of citizens’ valuables as alleged”, the statement read.

It, therefore called on the general public to “disregard the malicious allegations against troops of the Division and to continue to cooperate with the Division and other security agencies so as to rid our Area of Responsibility of terrorism, insurgency and other forms of criminality”.

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