The Medical Director of Yobe State University Teaching Hospital Damaturu, Dr. Baba Waru Goni has said that the Nigerian Military exhibits a high sense of responsibility and professionalism even in the face of provocation by the insurgents and that the report of violation of human rights against them by Reuters should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Goni, while stating that he does not believe in the report by the foreign media organisation while testifying before the Special Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations in Counter Insurgency Operation in The North East.
At the hearing on Friday at the teaching hospital, Goni said the Nigerian Military has supported the return of peace in the North East and it could not have been possible for them to indulge in such alleged heinous abortion of 10,000 pregnancies.
When asked by the general counsel of the Panel, Mr. Hilary Ogbonna if bad elements in the army can partake in such acts of 10,000 abortions, the Medical Director said in any organisation there could be bad elements but insisted that he has not received any report of abortion of pregnancies by the Military from anyone since his years of practice at the hospital till date.
He said: “I am not holding brief for the Nigerian Army, but I think they are highly professional and responsible and they also have their rules of engagement, to say they can commit such a crime is surprising to me”
Goni who has been in medical practice for over 25 years with numerous qualifications said, the Nigerian Military has reunited countless repentant Boko Haram fighters with members of their communities.
He recalled that even though the Military brings into the hospital numerous cases that require medical attention, especially during the peak of insurgency, Dr. Goni said “most of the cases we receive are casualties and that they are mostly men from the battlefields that insurgents attacked, I cannot remember any case of abortion recorded among the cases we receive from the Military”
Similarly, the Medical Director of Yobe State Specialist Hospital, Dr. Aisha Adamu Buba testified before the 7-man panel of experts who were on a fact-finding mission to the medical facility. Dr. Buba who expressed surprise at the magnitude of the alleged abortion said the hospital does not have anything to do with the Military as far as the abortion of 10,000 pregnancies was concerned.
She said contrary to the Reuters report, all the medical abortions conducted in the hospital are carried out legally for married women who develop one complication or the other during pregnancy.
Testifying further, Dr. Buba said the hospital keeps records of patients who have undergone medical abortions, adding that the patient’s personal information and details are all there in their records.
Other key officials, in both hospitals visited, were also made to testify.
Michael Olugbode in Abuja