The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has called for an independent inquiry into the reported secret burial of soldiers who died in the Boko Haram war.
The former vice-president said it is shocking that such a thing could happen under a democratic government.
The Wall Street Journal had reported how the soldiers killed by Boko Haram insurgents are allegedly being buried in hidden graveyards, away from the eyes and pity of family and friends.
Senior government and military officials were quoted as saying a secret graveyard in Maiduguri, Borno state capital, as well as an official military cemetery in the state, hold the bodies of at least 1,000 soldiers killed while fighting the insurgents.
The former vice-president described the situation as QUOTE “a national emergency that should shock all statesmen and leaders of thoughts into action to save Nigeria.” END QUOTE..
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Nigerian army has described as false, the story by The Wall Street Journal, which accused its officers of burying a thousand dead soldiers in secret graves, to avoid bad publicity.
The American medium had reported that soldiers are buried in unmarked graves in Borno State, whenever the army suffers defeat from Boko Haram.
But Defence spokesman, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu released a statement saying: “This insinuation can only emanate from an uninformed position of the author of the said publication.
Therefore, it must be unambigously clarified that the Armed Forces of Nigeria does not indulge in secret burials, as it is sacrilegious and a profanity to extant ethos and traditions of the Nigerian military.”
He insists fallen heroes are honoured in befitting military funerals of international standards, featuring funeral parades and solemn prayers.