A former Deputy Director Operations of the Nigerian Army, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Jibril Gambo, has dispelled the allegations of 10,000 abortions and other gross violations against the military contained in a three-part Reuters News Agency reports.
Gambo who testified before the Special Investigative Panel set up by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said Reuters was unfair to soldiers who stayed in trenches to defend their fatherland.
Gambo said he saw the three-part report on the social media describing is as “false because the locals were dislodged and they ran to the town in Maiduguri so there was nobody in the area”.
On the Amnesty report alleging that soldiers fired bullets on civilians while fighting Boko Haram members which synchronizes with Reuters report, the senior military officer said that was a lie.
“It is not true, we have our line of communication and if such a thing is going on under my watch I would have been told and the Nigeria Army would have taken action accordingly.
The general who was second in command at 231 Batterlion and later became the commander of 202 Battalion presently in Bama were he was injured in an encounter with insurgents, told the panel headed by Justice Abdu Aboki (rtd) that the whole structures in the barracks, which was his command base were destroyed, the civilian dislodged to towns, and soldiers were living in trenches except commanding officers.
“Our soldiers did not have contact with civilians and after seven months, around September 2014 I was pulled out following the injury I sustained then in 231 Battalion were I was second in Command, we covered up to Damaturu, Damboa….the insurgency was mainly in Maiduguri”, he stated.
He also denied the claim that there was a programme like Operation No Living thing and the killing of people in Cow market in Bama for allegedly refusing to hand over their young men to the soldiers on demand.
Confirming the above position, another Officer, Capt. Saheed Olalekan Salauudeen said that as a medical doctor who served in the medical unit, he never witnessed any abortion programme not to talk of administering pills to kill children.
The captain told the panel that he conducted medical outreaches within 158 task Force Battalion in Adamawa state between 2016 and 2018. He said the services were rendered in conjunction with UNICEF to treat malaria, respiratory infection and typhoid, and that most of the drugs used were donated by UNICEF.