BEVERLY HILLS, August 02, (THEWILL) – The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has denied the existence of secret military graveyards in Borno state.
Onyema Nwachukwu, defence spokesman, made the denial while reacting to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
The report stated that over 1,000 soldiers involved in the Boko Haram war were secretly buried.
Quoting military sources, the newspaper said the number of soldiers buried in that manner could be higher than the figure.
It said on the eve of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Borno in November, army commanders secretly moved corpses of soldiers from a morgue to unmarked graves.
“When President Buhari visited the Maiduguri base in November, commanders rushed to bury bodies that had collected at the morgue from the recent attack on the base in Metele and several others, according to several soldiers at the base,” the report read.
But in a statement, Nwachukwu described the publication as “sacrilegious” and “a figment of the imagination of the writer.”
“This insinuation can only emanate from an uninformed position of the author of the said publication,” he said, adding that Nigeria’s armed forces has a “rich and solemn tradition for the interment of our fallen heroes.”
The defence spokesman further said the military always gives befitting funerals to soldiers killed in the course of duty and does not indulge in secret burials.
“The cemetery described in the publication, which is situated in Maimalari military Cantonment is an officially designated military cemetery for the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the North East theatre, with a Cenotaph erected in honour of our fallen heroes,” the statement added.
“The official cemetery has played host to several national and international dignitaries, where wreaths were laid in honour of the fallen heroes. It is therefore a far cry from the sacrilegious impression being painted by Wall Street Journal.”