Request for investigation into army explosives on Buhari rally day
On the day of opposition candidate General Muhamadu Buhari’s
rally in Maiduguri, Borno state, there were some unusual and ultimately deadly
events that have caused anxiety and anguish among concerned Nigerians. We
believe the events of Monday the 16th February, 2015 that led to the death
of as many as ten civilians must be independently investigated.
According to the details provided to us from volunteer
civilians; on the day of Buhari’s campaign, as a holiday had been announced in
Borno state, the people around Umaru Shehu Hospital in Bullumkuttu apprehended
a group of soldiers “attempting to smuggle arms under the cover of the Buhari
rally,” and possibly to “create chaos.”
The soldiers did not disclose the true the content of the
two impounded vehicles that some civilian accounts say were maneuvering to join
the General Buhari campaign train.
Upon inspection of the vehicles, the Civilian-JTF discovered
that the vehicles were contained arms and explosives. According to video
evidence obtained by ENDS.ng, it was at the point where the Civilian-JTF
discovered it was “ammunition,” and made the pronouncement, the army began to
fire directly on the civilians, killing them.
The army has denied significant aspect of these details and
in some releases, denied it in entirety. Contrary to the military’s claims as
contained in some media reports, the bonfire was set by a new larger wave of
youth after the initial civilians inspected the vehicles and were
killed as shown in the video evidence, and not before and ‘leading to the
Also read: Two die at Buhari's campaign rally
In lieu of this and the evidence now available, we will like
an investigation into:
1, Why the Nigerian army would transport dangerous weaponry
and explosives in a leased private vehicle in Borno war territory.
2, If indeed Nigerian military transport trucks had all
broken down as contained in some media reports, we will like to know the
protocol and if the Nigerian army permits the transport of such dangerous
material in private vehicles.
3, While appreciating the elections-aggressive phase of the
war against Boko Haram, at last embarked upon by the Nigerian army, we will
like to know why this transport of dangerous artillery and explosives in
private vehicles was scheduled for the day of General Buhari’s political rally
4, We will like to know exactly the full detail of the
military escort for this consignment, to understand why Civilians could easily,
twice subdue it. As reference, we have seen the escort for senator Ali Modu
Sheriff in comparison which could not be subdued in similar fashion even by a
5, We will like to know why the Civilians were directly
fired at and not scared off with shots in the air.
6, We will like to know why the Civilians were fired at, at
exactly the point where they discovered the true contents (ammunition) of the
7, We would like to know why it has been reported that
members of the army were engaging in unruly behavior across the town on the day
of Buhari’s rally, impounding vehicles without cause and as some opined,
attempting to instigate riots and violence.
8, Finally we request an account of all army vehicles able
to ferry this type of load and for a full army budget allocation and spending
audit to account for military expenditure and determine why the Nigerian army
vehicles broke down ‘leading to the lease of private vehicles’ for suspicious
transport of dangerous material.
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