The Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has denied claims of secretly burying over 1000 soldiers made in a publication by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
We reported earlier that the report avowed that ‘after dark, the bodies of soldiers are covertly transported from a mortuary that at times gets so crowded the corpses are delivered by truck, according to Nigerian soldiers, diplomats and a senior government official. The bodies are laid by flashlight into trenches dug by infantrymen or local villagers paid a few dollars per shift’.
However the statement released by the Director Defence Information Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, insisted that the “insinuation can only emanate from an uninformed position of the author of the said publication.”
It further reads, “It must be unambiguously clarified that the Armed Forces of Nigeria does not indulge in secret burials, as it is sacrilegious and a profanity to extant ethos and traditions of the Nigerian military.
“The cemetery described in the publication, which is situated in Maimalari military cantonment is an officially designated military cemetery for the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the North East theatre, with a cenotaph erected in honour of our fallen heroes.
“The official cemetery has played host to several national and international dignitaries, where wreaths were laid in honour of the fallen heroes.
“It is, therefore, a far cry from the sacrilegious impression being painted by Wall Street Journal. Such a misinformed publication and see it as a figment of the imagination of the writer, whose knowledge of military valued ethos and traditions is grossly misplaced”.