A Coalition Against Terrorism and Extremism (CATE) has flayed an allegation that soldiers killed by Boko Haram were secretly buried.Former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, and her co-convener of BringBackOurGirls (BBOG), Aisha Yesufu were alleged to have made the accusation.
A statement by Ezekwesili, Yesufu and Florence Ozor, had claimed to see photographs of some fallen soldiers being given secret mass burial.This was days after the Nigerian military had denied the killing of its soldiers by Boko Haram.
But CATE’s National Coordinator, Gabriel Onoja, said in a statement that the comment by the BBOG’s leaders was to portray the Nigerian state as weak.He said their action was also calculated to boost the moral of the terrorists.Onoja urged the relevant authorities to take decisive action against the BBOG’s leaders, adding that the country’s security cannot continue to be at the mercy of some forces.
He said its claim: “was infantile and could only have been meant to benefit the terrorists. The BBOG’s group was indirectly insulting the country and its citizens.” He stressed that the claim was part of a wider campaign of disinformation and fake news to attain a pre-determined objective.
“The photographs in question were ordinarily consistent with the casualty figures released by the military in the aftermath of the encounter with the terrorists.“We however noted that some internet trolls, in tandem with BBOG, manipulated these images by playing with perspective and depth of field.”
The coordinator added that the idea was to create the impression that the entire Nigerian troops had been killed and were being secretly buried in the northeast.He expressed concern that the BBOG group curiously capitalised on what should have plunged right thinking people into a sober mood, to demand the unthinkable.
The group had asked the Federal Government to give them the official casualty figures for the month of July. Onoja urged the Federal Government and the Nigerian Army to shun the request.He implored the government to invoke the extant anti-terror laws as they apply to terrorists’ supporters.