Awka – The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), has dissociated itself from viral gory pictures and videos where persons purportedly killed in the ongoing military operations in the North West and North Central geographical zones of the country, were being dumped into a mass grave.
The trending online publication, with the caption ‘Alhamdulillah ZamfaraMustSecure’, made its way into the internet space since Saturday.
The Director, Defence Information, Major General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyerr, in a statement on Sunday, said it became pertinent to state that the allegation is false and malicious and has no link whatsoever with the operations being conducted by troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).
He however acknowledged that the military was conducting an operation in the regions mentioned to oust bandits and kidnappers but stated that their operations were in line with acceptable standards.
“It is true that the AFN is presently conducting successful military operations against bandits and kidnappers in line with its constitutional roles.
“These operations are conducted in strict compliance with the rules of armed conflicts, utmost professional manner, strict adherence to rules of engagement and respect for fundamental human rights and dignity,” he said.
Sawyerr stated categorically that the viral pictures being circulated have nothing in common with the ongoing operations, saying the callous action of linking ongoing operations with falsehood is deliberate and only seeks to tarnish the good image and reputation of the AFN.
“For the record, the AFN conducts fortnightly defence media operations brief in which pictures of the operations are displayed to complement achievements in the ongoing operations.
“Any attempt therefore, to portray the AFN in a bad light as a crude force, is unacceptable and unpatriotic.
“We therefore urge the general public to please disregard the gory pictures.
“The AFN will not rest on its oars in performing the constitutional mandate of ensuring that our nation remains safe and peaceful for all law abiding citizens,” he assured.