Military did not commit war crimes, DHQ blasts UK newspaper


Major-General Chris Olukolade, Defence spokesman

DHQ spokesman, Major-General Chris Olukolade
DHQ spokesman, Major-General Chris Olukolade

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has faulted a British Newspaper report that Nigerian government committed war crimes by terrorising some of its citizens in the war against insurgency.

A statement posted on the website of the Defence Headquarters read: “The report credited to the British Newspaper, Daily Independent, UK, in which it claimed that Nigerian government `committed war crimes by terrorising some of its citizens in the war against insurgency”.

“Is to say the least, unduly judgmental and quite consistent with the disdain and bias with which a section of the western media reports Africa,” the statement read.

The DHQ said that the newspaper did not lay claim to any sense of professionalism in coming out with grossly unsubstantiated and bogus allegations against the Nigerian government.

“No credible independent source or government official was contacted to ascertain the veracity of those wild claims yet the sanctimonious and all-knowing newspaper could not exercise any restraint to be sure of its story.

“Is it not preposterous to even suggest that ‘4000 people have died in military custody…’ when it is on record that suspected terrorists are held in various facilities while being processed for prosecution?

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“At what point then did 4000 people die in military custody? This ludicrous report did not come as a surprise to anybody since this biased mindset against Nigerian government has always characterised this newspaper even before the commencement of the ongoing counter-terrorist operation,” it lamented.

The statement said that the newspaper and its ilk should be reminded that the Nigerian military and by extension the government cannot be intimidated by this patterned bias and supremacist mindset in reporting Africa.

It said having adopted this kind of judgmental posture it will not be surprised by any “phantom video they will release to support their wild claim”.

“We therefore urge the general public to discountenance this obviously jaundiced report or whatever phantom video as it is all aimed at tarnishing the image of Nigerian military. The preposterous interrogative posture of Daily Independent since the inception of the war on terror in Nigeria clearly questions the integrity of the said documentary.

“And is therefore an indication of frantic effort at tarnishing the Nigerian military and ultimately the Nigerian nation. The so called documentary should therefore be taken with a pinch of the salt,” the statement said.