The former Theatre Commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) of the Counter Insurgency Operations in the North East, Major General Christopher Musa has demanded an apology from Reuters over it’s report of human rights violations against the Nigeria military, insisting it must be a mistaken identity of another country or perhaps there was a motive.
According to a statement on Monday signed by the spokesperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Fatimah Mohammed, the
former Theatre Commander at the headquarters of JTF also known as Operation Hadin Kai stated this in Maiduguri, Borno state when he testified before the Special Investigative Panel on the allegations of Human Rights Violations in Counter Insurgency Operations in North East Nigeria (SIIP North East).
According to her, the top military officer, told the SIIP-NE chaired by Justice Abdu Aboki (rtd) that Reuters should apologise to the Nigerian military for the allegations of secret, involuntary, and illegal abortions of 10,000 pregnancies involving women and girls, infanticide, and other Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) which he dismissed as fallacious.
The high-ranking military Officer stated that the report is also an indictment of the United Nations system working with the military towards addressing the various issues elicited by insurgency in the North East, noting that of all stakeholders and media organisations only Reuters made the allegations.
Musa said it is illogical for anybody or any institution to associate the Nigeria military with the deliberate killing of civilians because it is rather concerned about saving lives, particularly women and children whom he noted are usually taken to faraway from the frontline, and subsequently profiled before handing them over to State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) for further necessary action.
He said that the military should be commended given the level of sacrifices it has made to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria instead of being maligned. He added that during his time, he lost about 200 troops at Madagali.
He disclosed that since July 2021 over 84,000 returnees have surrendered to the military saying that the number comprises women, children, and men.
Michael Olugbode in Abuja