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Nigerian Army debunks report of alleged arrest, killing of 11 Fulanis in Kaduna

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Headquarters 1 Division of the Nigerian Army has debunked reports that its troops arrested and killed 11 Fulani, raided houses, and took away money and dried ginger.

DAILY POST recalls that an online report alleged that 11 decomposing corpses of Fulani from Tulde Fulbe, Ladduga Grazing Reserve, in Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State, were discovered on Monday in a forest located near an area called “Crossing” within the local government area, adding that the bodies were identified by relatives and community members as those of the Fulani allegedly arrested by soldiers in the area at different times.

But, in a statement on Thursday night, Lt Col Musa Yahaya, Acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 1 Division Nigerian Army, said: “This Division wishes to unequivocally state 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, it cannot be involved in extra-judicial killings and stealing of citizens valuables as alleged.”

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According to the statement, 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.

The statement maintained that for the avoidance of doubt and to set the record straight, on December 21, 2023, troops of the division responded to a kidnap incident around Crossing general area of Kachia Local Government, adding that the kidnappers had stabbed a young man and dispossessed him of his motorcycle and the sum of Fifteen Thousand Naira (N15,000).

It further explained that the troops, on arriving at the scene, went after the kidnappers and neutralised three, while one escaped with a gunshot wound and was later arrested by the troops on his way to the hospital.

The statement stressed the imperative to mention that December 30, 2023, was the first time troops conducted any military operation in Tilden Fulani, in which one Ibrahim Abubakar was arrested on suspicion of involvement in insurgent activities.

According to the statement: “In the process of investigation, Mr Ibrahim Abubakar admitted to having been an insurgent, providing details of his involvement in insurgent activities, including spaces of kidnaps and highway raids.

“He volunteered the names of five people in the community in possession of automatic weapons, including his brother. This information necessitated another raid on the village.”

However, on arrival in 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.

“Intelligence further revealed that the village is complicit in terrorist activities and that most of the criminals have fled with their families for fear of being eliminated by the militia group in the area. It is therefore 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 obviously a smear campaign to sabotage the efforts of the Division to clear communities in its AOR of insurgency and terrorism. Again, the area where the corpses were alleged to have been found has never been visited by the troops of the Division,” the statement averred.

Nigerian Army debunks report of alleged arrest, killing of 11 Fulanis in Kaduna

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