by James Sambo
The Defence Headquarters has faulted an Independent newspaper of London report which accused the Nigerian military of various human rights abuses including committing “war crimes by terrorizing some of its citizens in the war against insurgency” in northern Nigeria.
In two separate statements posted on the DHQ Website, the military described the video documentary and a news report which the newspaper published on the web as a part of a “biased and judgemental posture of a section of the western press who are prepared to go to any extent, even if it means parroting falsehood, just so to find avenue to denigrate African Governments and institutions”.
The DHQ said, “Independent did not lay claim to any sense of professionalism in coming out with that grossly unsubstantiated and bogus allegation 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 Daily Independent 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? 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 characterized this newspaper even before the commencement of the ongoing counter-terrorist operation.
“The Independent 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. Having adopted this kind of judgemental posture, we 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 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.”