The Nigerian Army has dismissed reports that troops were on revenge mission in some communities in Abia State, following the alleged killing of six soldiers in a clash with IPOB.
The army spokesperson, Mohammed Yerima, in a statement on Monday, said contrary to reports, no soldier was killed in Ohafia Local Government Area of the state, contrary to the reports.
Mr Yerima, a brigadier-general, also said it was not true that residents of Elu, Amangwu, and Amaekpu in Ohafia Local Government Area were fleeing their homes out of fear.
He described the allegation as a “baseless fabrication aimed at tarnishing the good image of the Nigerian army as well as creating distrust between the public and security agents in the state”.
Mr Yerima explained that troops only carried out “routine clearance operations” in the area in line with the rules of engagement and respect for the fundamental human rights of citizens.
The army spokesperson said the operation was aimed at restoring socio-economic activities which had been disrupted by “criminal activities” of IPOB, accused of being responsible for the attacks on security agents and the destruction of government infrastructure.
According to him, troops, in conjunction with police operatives and other security officials were leveraging on timely and accurate intelligence provided by patriotic citizens, to restore normalcy to troubled spots and to rid the state of criminals.
“We wish to reassure the good people of Abia of the safety of their lives and property.
“We also urge them to continue to report suspicious movements and activities of strange individuals or groups in their vicinity to the nearest security agency for prompt action,” he said.
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