No soldier arrested over Baga killings, Nigerian Military says

Nigeria Army

The Defence Headquarters said it has not arrested any soldier.

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) said in Abuja on Saturday that no soldier had been arrested or detained on account of the April 19 Baga military operation in Borno.

A statement by Brigadier General Chris Olukolade, Director of Defence Information, said media reports had claimed that 15 soldiers had been arrested for their alleged role in “Borno bloodbath’’.

“This is indeed false in its entirety.

At no point did the DHQ or any of the services of the Nigerian Armed Forces order the arrest of any of its soldiers in connection with the incident in Baga.

“The DHQ reaffirms its stand that all lives are precious in the conduct of all operations.

“The loss of human lives should not be taken with levity or unnecessary sensationalism as some interest groups appear bent on doing.

“The military has therefore refrained from joining issues on figures being so vociferously presented and believed in certain quarters even when the reports on the ground are indicating otherwise,’’ it said.

According to the statement, the efforts by some persons and groups to attribute the killings in Baga to the Multi-National Joint Task Force are, however, assuming very unfair and dangerous dimensions.

“It is surprising that the atrocities of Boko Haram terrorists are being desperately blamed on the troops even without investigations by those promoting the allegations locally and internationally.

“This tendency is clearly in line with the orchestrated effort by a vested interest, using the press, to whip up public resentment against the necessary military operations in defence and security of the nation.

“The series of false claims on the incident in Baga should, however, not be forced down the throat of well-meaning people of Nigeria and beyond.

“The DHQ, once more, urges the press to desist from playing into the hands of those who do not mean well for the country in times like this,’’ it added.

Residents of Baga said over 185 people were killed last week during a fight between soldiers and members of the Boko Haram. The Senator representing Borno North said 220 people were killed in the violence.



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