The Nigerian army is allegedly investigating the Aba massacre that left at least 10 pro-Biafra protesters dead and dozens others wounded when unarmed protesters were fired upon by members of the Nigerian security forces this February.
The Chief of army staff who has never yet commented on the massacre, finally said the army was investigating the extrajudicial killings while fielding questions form reporters in Enugu.
This comes after Nigeria’s president was intimidated with questions and an offer to show him the video of the massacre while being interviewed by AlJazeera reporters in Qatar some days back. Buhari had refused to watch the video.
Nigeria’s army is coming under greater global criticism for the “return to dictator” ways with the military implicated in several cases of gross human rights abuse and crimes against humanity. The recent episodes in Zaria, Aba, Delta are a few of those in review.
The army has also been accused by Amnesty International of re-hiring a general, Aminu Mohammed, accused of crimes against humanity, and shielding perpetrators of gross violations and massacres over the years.
There have been calls for the chief of army, Lt. General Tukur Buratai to resign.
In recognition of these, General Buratai told troops in Enugu:
“Our rules of engagement during security operations touch on the observation of human rights at all times. “You must behave professionally, protect lives and uphold the dignity of humans during all your operations.
“If you apply all the rules of engagement and still have cause to open fire as a last resort, then you will be protected by the Constitution.
“We will however not tolerate or protect anyone who in the course of any operation violates such provisions of the constitution.’’