- The commander of Operation Safe Haven, Anthony Atolagbe, has reacted to the secret burial of over 200 victims of the recent Plateau attacks
- He said the state of the corpses was so bad that if allowed to be taken away, it would stir up serious tensions in the state
- However, some have alleged that the secret burial is to cover up some facts and conspiracy of soldiers in the killings
The chairman, public accounts and petition committee in Plateau state House of Assembly representing Barkin Ladi constituency, Peter Gyendeng, and the president of Middle Belt Youth Council, Emma Zopmal, have spoken on the burial of over 200 victims of the recent attacks in the state.
The Punch reports that the attack carried out by suspected herdsmen generated a serious controversy following allegations that security agencies wanted to carry out the exercise in secret.
Legit.ng gathered that Gyendeng and Zopmal said the planned secret burial was to cover up some facts and conspiracy of soldiers in the killings.
According to Zopmal, the affected communities should resist the planned secret burial because the corpses did not belong to the security agencies and the government.
He said: “The planned secret burial is a conspiracy, we know that there is collusion between the security agencies and the Fulani people. There is no way you can force people to bury their relations when they are not ready for it.
“The dead bodies belong to them, so they are not government’s corpses that they will now decide when to bury them.
“The affected communities should not allow that to happen. The security agencies did not protect them. Why should they decide the burial for them? It doesn’t make any sense, they are trying to cover up what they have done. It is all part of the same attitude that the Nigerian government has been exhibiting."
On his part, Gyendeng said: “We tried to take all the corpses to give them mass burial. But the STF commandant stopped every movement that we made concerning the dead bodies. In fact, he did not allow anybody to go there yesterday (Sunday). We organised our own security and mobile policemen to escort us there. But we were stopped on the road.
“Our people stayed there till 6:pm, we had to come back for security reasons too. The corpses are still there and they have started decomposing. I’m just entering my LG now to see what else could be done. We have taken pictures of the corpses."
The commander of special military taskforce code named Operation Safe Haven, Major General Anthony Atolagbe, however, explained that state of the corpses was so bad that if allowed to be taken away, it would stir up serious tensions and mayhem in the state.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that the US strongly condemned the attacks in Plateau in which no fewer than 86 people were killed and several others injured.
The US in a statement by Heather Nauert, spokesperson for the US department of state, said the perpetrators of the attacks should be brought to justice.
“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the killing of civilians and destruction of property in Nigeria’s Middle Belt region over the weekend," Nauert said.
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