The director of defence information, Chris Olukolade, a Major General, on Wednesday said that allegations of human rights abuses being levied against troops combating terrorism in the North eastern part of the country were false and baseless.
Olukolade who was speaking at a briefing by the National information Centre, NIC, insisted that the position of the Nigerian army, like any other security agency, is guided by rules of engagement which it will continue to uphold.
He said, however, that all accusations of human rights abuse will be investigated whenever it is believed to have occurred.
“I must call your attention to the fact that this has become a stock in trade of organisations that have doubt about our ability to maintain integrity in our operations but be sure that this remains a professional force…Please note that the obligation we have is to investigate it and when such allegations come, we do investigate them,” the information officer said.
Speaking earlier, the coordinator of NIC, Mike Omeri, clarified the report about the explosion which occurred in Ile Ife, Osun State on Tuesday, saying that outcome of the investigation indicates that the explosion was neither a bomb nor dynamite, but carbide as neither the ground where the explosion occurred nor buildings within the vicinity were affected.
In addition, he said no human life was lost in the incident.
Omeri commended the prompt action of security forces that rapidly secured the area in an effort to prevent further attacks on onlookers, particularly, the Fire Service, which he said displayed “heroism” by putting out the fire caused by the explosion thereby preventing it from spreading into the market.
He maintained that Nigeria’s security forces have continued to make significant progress with active presence on the ground to combat the highly challenging and complex terrorist threat that currently exists as well as ensuring long term safety and security of the people and the nation.