The Nigerian Army (NA) has denied a claim that troops are on a vengeance mission in some communities in Abia State.
In a statement on Monday, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, also faulted an allegation that six soldiers were killed.
He noted that the army was aware of a report trending on social media that the soldiers were killed in a clash with members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN)/ Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The report, according to Yerima, alleged that as a result, residents of Elu, Amangwu, and Amaekpu in Ohafia Local Government Area of the state embarked on mass exodus out of fear.
“The NA wishes to debunk the allegation as a baseless fabrication aimed at not only tarnishing the good image of the NA but to create distrust between the public and security agents in the state,” he said.
Recounting what happened, the army spokesman narrated, “The true position is that troops carried out routine clearance operations in line with the rules of engagement and respect for fundamental human rights of the citizens aimed at restoring socio-economic activities, which were hitherto disrupted by criminal activities of IPOB/ESN elements who attack security agents and government infrastructures.
“Troops of the Nigerian Army, working in conjunction with personnel of Nigeria Police and other security agencies, leveraging on timely and accurate intelligence provided by patriotic citizens, are working tirelessly to restore normalcy to troubled areas and to rid the state of criminal elements.”
Yerima assured the people of Abia of the safety of their lives and property and urged them to continue to report suspicious movements and activities of strange individuals or groups in their vicinity to the nearest security agency for prompt action.