The military has denied the allegation of complicity in the reported killing of 29 persons, including women and children, in the Nkiedonwhro community of Plateau state. Umar Adam, the spokesperson of Operation Safe Haven, made the denial known in an interview with Punch in Jos on Wednesday, October 18.
Adam said: ”During the killings, there was gunshot exchange between our troops and the attackers. ”The attackers came en masse and they were shooting sporadically and the people in the village started running towards one of the bases where our men were deployed. That was when our men offered them safety in the classroom. “But as those attackers were still advancing, our men had to repel them by engaging them in gunshots. But because it was dark and they were many in number, our men didn’t know that there were others who came from another direction. ‘’While our people were attacking those ones, others came from a different route and fired the people in the classroom. But to our greatest disappointment, people are pushing the blame on us.” Adams claimed that the Fulani herdsmen wounded by the troops were assisted to escape by their colleagues after the exchange of gunfire.
According to him, “About two days earlier, there was tension the day some women in Rigwe community demonstrated because a boy was discovered dead. Out of their anger, they suspected that the Fulani people were responsible and decided to take a revenge on them. “Our people intercepted them because our mandate is not to promote violence but to ensure that people live in peace. ”They wondered why soldiers stopped them from unleashing their anger on the suspects. When our boys were intercepting the ones trying to cause trouble, some of them moved out to scatter our checkpoints.”
Meanwhile, NGM had reported that the Nigerian Air Force deployed some of its air assets to the state in a bid to maintain peace following reports of attacks.