Army speaks on alleged killing of 11 Fulani in Kaduna forest


Nigerian Army

By Mohammed Tijjani

The Nigerian Army has described a report in a national newspaper that its troops arrested and killed 11 Fulani people in a Kaduna forest as a smear campaign to sabotage the efforts to clear communities in the area of insurgency and terrorism.

The report had indicated that the troops that apart from the killing of the 11 Fulani, raided houses, the troops took away monies and dried ginger during
the raid on the forest.

While faulting the report, the Nigerian Army in a statement by its acting Deputy Director, Public Relations, 1 Division, Lt.-Col. Musa Yahaya said the area where the corpses were alleged to have been found has never been visited by the troops of the division.

Yahaya added 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.

According to Yahaya, the Nigerian army belongs to the Nigerian people with representation from all parts of the country and can never be used as a tool to pursue an untoward agenda.

He added,” In avoidance of doubt and to set the record straight, on Dec 21, 2023, troops of the division responded to a kidnap incident around crossing the general area of Kachia Local Government.”

Yahaya said the kidnappers had stabbed a young man and dispossessed him of his motorcycle and the sum of N15,000.

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

Yahaya said, “Imperative to mention that Dec . 30, 2023 was the first time troops conducted any military operation in Tilden Fulani in which one suspect was arrested on suspicion of involvement in insurgent activities.”

He explained that in the process of investigation, the suspect admitted to having been an insurgent providing details of his involvement in insurgent activities including spaces of kidnaps and highway raids.

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He volunteered the names of five persons in the community in possession of automatic weapons including his brother.

“This information necessitated another raid to the village, ” the spokesperson said.

He disclosed that on arrival at the village, troops discovered that the five suspects had all fled with their families.

“Their houses were thoroughly searched but nothing incriminating was found neither was anything taken away by the troops,” Yahaya said.

He said intelligence further revealed that the village was complicit in terrorist activities and that most of the criminals had fled with their families for fear of being eliminated by the militia group in the area.

“Therefore, it is important to mention categorically, 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.

“This is a smear campaign to sabotage the efforts of the Division to clear communities in its Area of Responsibility (AOR ), of insurgency and terrorism,” he said.

Yahaya said the area where the corpses were alleged to have been found has never been visited by the troops of the division.

He called on the public to disregard the malicious allegation against troops of the division and to continue to cooperate with it and other security agencies to rid “our AOR of terrorism, insurgency and other forms of criminality.

“We appreciate the continued support and understanding of the good people of Kaduna State and urge them to go about their lawful and legitimate businesses.”


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