The Nigerian Army has reacted to an online video showing armed military officers humiliating civilians believed to be supporters of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu at a check point in Abia State.
In a press release issued on Thursday, signed by the Deputy Director Army Public Relations 82 Division Nigerian Army, Sagir Musa, the army said it was investigating the incident and if indeed its officials were involved in the act.
The army assured the public that it is aware of the video clip trending on social media and other platforms and that the issue will be addressed with the view to ascertaining the source and veracity of the clip.
“Our Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement are quite clear and any officer or soldier that infringed on any of such directive if found guilty, will face the full wrath of the military justice system,” it said.
The army also claimed that this could be a planned misinformation by the IPOB to cause chaos in the state.
“We would like to inform the public that 82 Division is also aware of the planned misinformation and propaganda arrangement by the secessionists, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). They intend to churn out pre-recorded video clips aimed at discrediting the Nigerian Army, causing disaffection among the citizens of this country. They will be using bogus, manipulated and photo-shopped photographs as well as video clips. The public should be wary of such mischief, scrutinize and report same to the Nigerian Army or any of security agencies.”
The division reassured the public that it is determined to ensuring the safety of lives and property of the people while it conducts its operations.
“We do not condone any act of indiscipline in the conduct of our operations and training exercises. Any claim of rights violation would be investigated and when confirmed, appropriate disciplinary action would be taken against the erring personnel.”
The army is currently engaged in a military operation in the South-east, code named, Operation Python Dance, apparently aimed at curtailing the excesses of militant groups in the region.
One of the groups, IPOB, is seeking an independent and sovereign state of Biafra and has consistently accused the soldiers of cracking down on its members.