An unidentified soldier who claims to be a member of the Nigerian Army currently involved in the emergency rule operation in one of the three north-east states, has cited ‘injustice’ as the reason behind his decision to film the alleged massacre of civilians in the offensive against Boko Haram sect members.
The soldier, whose identity was hidden in a report which aired yesterday on international news channel, Aljazeera, said instead of killing the insurgents, the troops were mostly killing civilians although he admits they (civilians) were caught in the crossfire.
“What I saw when I went to the frontline was a lot of dead bodies, almost 3,000…you cannot walk from point A to point B without marching dead bodies – small children, females. So it is our own people we are killing, which is not good,” he was quoted as saying.
He also said more civilians than Boko Haram have died, adding that “at a particular village, there were no more than 30 to 40 Boko Haram fighters, but the civilians could not leave, because Boko Haram did not allow them.”
On why the soldier, who Aljazeera claims has been known to them for years, agreed to record the scenes for the medium, he said “I was doing it because of injustice. “The Boko Haram are being killed, but the casualty of the innocent is more than Boko Haram.”
However, in reaction to the report, which has already been condemned as ‘contrived and misleading’ by the Presidency, Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Chris Olukolade said the alleged soldier may not be a member of the Special Forces and could instead be a collaborator.
He, however, did not rule out the possibility of an investigation of the allegation by the military if it appeared to be true.
“What makes you so sure that that is actually a Nigerian soldier? Could any of the terrorists or one of their collaborators not dress or act the way you saw in the Aljazeera video? Let them come up with something more reasonable if those terrorist propaganda merchants and their sympatisers who are behind sponsoring this slanted spurious stories want to be taken seriously and it will be investigated,” he said.