The Nigerian Defence Headquarters has responded to a report by the Wall Street Journal, alleging the secret burial of the over 1,000 Nigerian soldiers by the Boko Haram in the North-East.
The Presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, had on Thursday, referred to a report by the Wall Street Journal, alleging that the Nigerian government has been secretly burying several soldiers killed by the Boko Haram in an attempt to hide the true details of the ongoing crisis.
“The Defence Headquarters has noted with dismay an Online Article by “Wall Street Journal” purporting that the Nigerian Military maintains secret graveyards in the North East theatre of operation.
“This insinuation can only emanate from an uninformed position of the author of the said publication. It therefore becomes necessary to inform the public that the Armed Forces of Nigeria has a rich and solemn tradition for the interment of our fallen heroes.
“Therefore, it must be unambigously 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.
“In tandem with the traditions of the Armed Forces, Fallen heroes are duly honoured and paid the last respect in befitting military funeral of international standard, featuring funeral parade, grave site oration, solemn prayers for the repose of departed souls by Islamic and Christian clerics as well as gun salutes, aside other military funeral rites.
“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”
“The Defence Headquarters therefore urges members of the Armed Forces and the general public to disregard 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. Thank you.”