…says bodies of 11 soldiers burnt beyond recognition
…insists stolen weapons must be returned, attackers turned-in
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), has said that a Captain of the Nigerian Army and 10 of his fighting forces deployed in Konshisha LGA of Benue State, to restore order, were killed by suspected “bandits”, with their bodies burnt beyond recognition.
The disclosure put a lie to an earlier statement by the Army claiming that the bodies of the officer and personnel, were recovered by a joint search and rescue team.
In its release on Tuesday night, the Army had claimed, inter alia: “…The search and rescue team unfortunately found all the missing troops dead in Konshisha LGA of Benue State.
“While the bodies of the slain troops were evacuated immediately, efforts are ongoing to track down the perpetrators of this heinous crime with a view to bringing them to Justice”.
However, a statement by the Acting Director of Defence Information (DDI), Brig-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, further underscored the argument in many quarters, that the military and security agencies saddled with the responsibility of protecting the nation’s territorial integrity, among others, work at cross purposes.
Providing an update on the unfortunate incident, the DHQ regretted that the killings occurred at a time the Benue State government appeared to have made substantial progress in its ongoing peace efforts.
Specifically, the DHQ said the “ill-fated” deployment was occasioned by “communal clashes in recent times between the people of Konshisha and Oju over boundary demarcation”.
It, however, warned that all weapons carted away during the attack must be returned, even as local leaders are advised to turn in perpetrators of the heinous act, in their interest.