THE Nigerian Army have denied reports that they were on a vengeance mission in some communities in Ohafia Local Government Area, Abia State.
This was contained in a statement signed by Director of Army Public Relations Mohammed Yerima on Monday in Abuja.
Yerima said contrary to the reports, eight soldiers were not killed in a clash with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) / Eastern Security Network (ESN).
“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 statement read in part.
However, the Army said soldiere carried out ‘routine clearance operations’ in line with rules of engagement and respect for fundamental human rights of the citizens. The operations were aimed at restoring socio-economic activities, the Army said, but did not explain if any member of the troop was killed or injured.
When contacted by The ICIR for explanations, Yerima said the Army did not injure or kill any of the ESN/IPOB members during the clash.
“If there was any such case of causality or injury on other sides, I would have stated that in the statement issued earlier,” Yerima said.
He noted that the Army in collaboration with the Nigerian Police were working ‘tirelessly’ to restore peace in the region.
Against the Army’s position, an online medium (not The ICIR) had reported that seven soldiers were killed in Ohafia Local Government. on Sunday.
The report read that the killing of the two officers triggered a violent attack from other soldiers of the 14 Brigade, Army Headquarters, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Barracks, in the state.
According to the report, the soldiers shot at people and burnt down houses in Elu, Amangwu and Ebem communities in the state.
Chairman of Ohafia Local Council Okorafor Ukiwe had also confirmed the clash, saying that there were complaints of alleged intimidation, harassment and stifling of the constitutional freedom of movement and right of the people to do legitimate business following the clash.