Home » Air Force, Armed Forces, Army, Boko Haram, Headlines, Navy » Probe ‘Secret Burial’ Of 1,000 Soldiers By Insurgents, Atiku Dares Buhari …Military Denies Existence of Secret Grave Yard

Probe ‘Secret Burial’ Of 1,000 Soldiers By Insurgents, Atiku Dares Buhari …Military Denies Existence of Secret Grave Yard

The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the reported secret burial of 1,000 Nigerian soldiers killed by Boko Haram and ISWAP.
In a statement he signed yesterday, Atiku said that the Wall Street Journal’s report on the matter was saddening, adding that the attempt to hide the true state of the war on terror was heartbreaking and shocking.
Atiku said: “Heartbreak for the families and friends of those soldiers who, if the report is true, have lost their loved ones, without being allowed to bury them or even to have any sense of closure as regards their fate.
“Shocking that such a thing could happen under a democracy, such as Nigeria is supposed to be. I shudder to think that the cover-up of such an event of epic proportions can be true.
“The men and women of our armed forces are our first, second and last defence against our domestic and foreign enemies and should be treated with love, respect, dignity and appreciation for the invaluable service they render to Nigeria.
“I cannot fathom that in the space of a year, 1,000 of these great patriots were killed and buried secretly without their families being told. I hesitate to believe that deceit on such a grand scale is even possible.
“To ensure that we get to the bottom of this matter, I urge that a Judicial Commission of Inquiry headed by a non-partisan and reputable jurist, be inaugurated to investigate the findings of the Wall Street Journal.
“While this is occurring, I also strongly urge that a panel of inquiry comprising distinguished former military officers be set up to investigate and report to Nigerians the true state of the war on terror and what must be done to ensure Nigeria brings a speedy end to the ongoing insurgency.
“Nigeria must ensure prudent use of finances, so we can redistribute national resources in such a way that ensures that our military and security forces are well armed and well remunerated.
“Even the death of one soldier affects me. But the alleged cover-up of the deaths of one thousand soldiers is a national emergency that should shock all statesmen and leaders of thoughts into action to save Nigeria.”
But in a reaction to the report, the Military High Command, yesterday, decried what it described as a misinformed publication and a figment of the imagination of Wall Street Journal alleging that secret burial sites where troops killed by Boko Haram are buried silently exist, noting that the writer of the publication lacks knowledge of military valued ethos, and traditions on treatment of fallen heroes.
This was contained in a statement titled ‘There Are No Secret Graveyards in the North East Theatre’, signed by the Acting Director, Defence Information, Col Onyema Nwachukwu.
It reads, “The Defence Headquarters has noted with dismay an Online Article by “Wall Street Journal” purporting that the Nigerian Military maintains secret graveyards in the North East theatre of operation.
“This insinuation can only emanate from an uninformed position of the author of the said publication.
“It, therefore, becomes necessary to inform the public that the Armed Forces of Nigeria have a rich and solemn tradition for the interment of our fallen heroes.
“Therefore, it must be unambiguously clarified that the Armed Forces of Nigeria does not indulge in secret burials, as it is sacrilegious and a profanity to extant ethos and traditions of the Nigerian military.
“In tandem with the traditions of the Armed Forces, fallen heroes are duly honoured and paid the last respect in befitting military funeral of international standard, featuring funeral parade, grave site oration, solemn prayers for the repose of departed souls by Islamic and Christian clerics, as well as gun salutes, aside other military funeral rites.
“The cemetery described in the publication, which is situated in Maimalari Military Cantonment is an officially designated military cemetery for the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the North East theatre, with a Cenotaph erected in honour of our fallen heroes.
“The official cemetery has played host to several national and international dignitaries, where wreaths were laid in honour of the fallen heroes.
“It is therefore a far cry from the sacrilegious impression being painted by “Wall Street Journal”.
“The Defence Headquarters, therefore, urges members of the Armed Forces and the general public to disregard such a misinformed publication and see it as a figment of the imagination of the writer, whose knowledge of military valued ethos and traditions is grossly misplaced.”
The Wall Street Journal had reported that at the northern edge of this city’s sprawling military base, a vast field of churned soil conceals the hidden toll of a deadly offensive by the allies of Islamic State.
After dark, the bodies of soldiers are covertly transported from a mortuary that at times gets so crowded the corpses are delivered by truck, according to Nigerian soldiers, diplomats and a senior government official.
The bodies are laid by flashlight into trenches dug by infantrymen or local villagers paid a few dollars per shift.
“Several of my comrades were buried in unmarked graves at night,” said a soldier from the Maimalari barracks, where more than 1,000 soldiers are based.
“They are dying and being deleted from history.”
The secret graveyard at Maimalari isn’t the only one in Nigeria’s troubled North-East, the senior government official said.

-Tide Newspaper

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Posted by on Aug 2 2019. Filed under Air Force, Armed Forces, Army, Boko Haram, Headlines, Navy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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