The Nigerian Army has refuted the claim that six soldiers were killed in a clash with the members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Ohafia, Abia State.
In a statement on Monday, the Army spokesman, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima said no soldier or group of soldiers were killed neither did anyone go on a vengeance mission as the viral report alleged.
Mohammed said that troops carried out routine clearance operations aimed to restore socio-economic activities in the area which were hitherto disrupted by criminal activities of IPOB/ESN.
The Army spokesman noted that the operations were in line with the rules of engagement and respect for the fundamental human rights of the citizens.
The statement read: “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a story making rounds in the social media that troops are on vengeance mission in some communities in Abia State following the death of six soldiers in a clash with ESN/IPOB terrorists. The story further alleged that as a result, residents of Elu, Amangwu and Amaekpu in Ohafia LGA have embarked on mass exodus out of fear.”
“The NA wishes to debunk the allegation as baseless fabrication aimed at not only tarnishing the good image of the NA but to create distrust between the public and security agents in the state.”
“The true position is that troops carried out routine clearance operations in line with the rules of engagement and respect for fundamental human rights of the citizens aimed restoring socio-economic activities which were hitherto disrupted by criminal activities of IPOB/ESN elements who attack security agents and government infrastructures.”
“Troops of the Nigerian Army working in conjunction with personnel of Nigeria Police and other security agencies leveraging on timely and accurate intelligence provided by patriotic citizens, are working tirelessly to restore normalcy to troubled areas and to rid the state of criminal elements.”
“Consequently, we wish to reassure the good people of Abia State of the safety of their lives and property and also urge them to continue to report suspicious movements and activities of strange individuals or groups in their vicinity to the nearest security agency for prompt action.”