The Nigerian military has denied complicity in the attack by suspected Fulani herdsmen that killed over 29 persons, including women and children in the Nkiedonwhro community of Plateau State.
The military said the truth was that it was overwhelmed by the numerical strength and tactics of the attackers.
The spokesperson of Operation Safe Haven, Capt. Umar Adams told Punch in Jos, the State’s capital, that the military did its best to repel the deadly attack.
The President of Rigwe Development Association, Sunday Abdu, had accused soldiers deployed in the area of complicity saying that “the soldiers masterminded the killing. That was what happened.”
However Mr. Adams explained that the attackers were too many for them to curtail.
He said, “During the killings, there was gunshot exchange between our troops and the attackers.
“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.
“When the attackers were firing at our people, our men were also firing back. Our people were able to shoot some of them; but because of their number, they were moving those who were wounded by our gunshots.”
“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.”