The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement has asked the federal government to stop the “secret burial” of soldiers killed in the war against Boko Haram.
In a statement on Tuesday, Oby Ezekwesili, Aisha Yesufu and Florence Ozor, conveners of the movement, said several months after the federal government claimed to have defeated Boko Haram, Nigerians still see pictures of mass burials of the soldiers killed by Boko Haram
The group was reacting to pictures of mass burial of soldiers allegedly killed in an ambush attack by the sect in Bama local government area on July 16. But Nigerian army denied reports that some soldiers got missing in the ambush.
“Were Nigerians not told that the military has won the war? What then is the reason for the escalation of attacks by the terrorists and the heightened loss of life of citizens and our soldiers?” the statement read
“The #BringBackOurGirls advocacy has been consistent in voicing the correlation between the wellbeing of our troops, the rescue of our #ChibokGirls and the end of the insurgency.
“It is therefore disheartening that several months after the federal government’s announcement that Boko Haram has been technically defeated, we see pictures of a mass burial for our troops, killed by Boko Haram.”
BBOG group asked the military authorities to confirm the number of soldiers killed by Boko Haram in July.
“The military authority should immediately confirm the number of our soldiers that have died within this month of July 2018. Their families and Nigerians should have a brief on the circumstances of their deaths as a means to healing, to have closure. Their names should be released for proper honour as obtains in other climes,” the statement read.
“We take exception to what is to all intent, a secret burial of our fallen heroes. Those responsible for the safety of our troops should be sanctioned for this failure and measures must be put in place to prevent further deaths and damage to the morale of our troops. We question why the current status of our defence budget is at variance with the safety and wellbeing of our troops in this fight against Boko Haram.
“We still stand on the demand we have made previously, for the federal government to institute a monthly counter-terrorism status report to the Nigerian public.”