The Defense Headquarters on Saturday reacted to reports by the Tiv Cultural and Social Association which accused military officers of raping and killing their wives and daughters.
DAILY POST had reported that the leaders of Tiv people in Taraba State had accused the military posted to bring peace to the state of raping their wives and daughters, also destroying their properties in the name manhunt for bandits in Southern Taraba.
Reacting, the Defense Headquarters in a statement released via its official Twitter account said troops only conducted a dawn raid at Rafin Kada in Wukari LGA and Yojaa in Donga LGA of Taraba State on 29 June 2020.
The DH also said that the raid was on a confirmed bandits’ hideout based on actionable human and technical intelligence on their activities in the area.
According to the statement, the information was obtained from both military intelligence sources in the field, as well as credible local sources in those same communities, who affirmed the activities of the bandits as it were.
It also stated that four bandits were killed during the raid, while an unconfirmed number escaped with gunshot wounds.
Also, the DHQ condemned the accusations by TCSA stating that it was mischievous to suggest that soldiers were “raping their wives and daughters, and also destroying their properties in the name of a manhunt for bandits in Southern Taraba.
“What Mr. Dahida should understand is that troops do not just embark on operations for the mere fun of it, especially when lives are at stake.
“Before operations are conducted, the Military Intelligence Fusion Cell gathers and effectively processes this pool of information, before emerging with actionable intelligence.
“This, as such ensures that troops operate with utmost accuracy of the information, and consequently know where to go and what to do.
“Again, during the actual operation, the troops came in contact with suspected Tiv militias at Tse Juku village.
“The armed militias opened fire on sighting the troops who responded with superior firepower thereby neutralizing 4 of them in the process while an unconfirmed number escaped with gunshot wounds.
“Troops also recovered 2 locally made rifles, 55 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition, 117 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 3 mobile phones, 3 AK 47 magazines, 2 motorcycles, one military shirt uniform, one Peace Corps ID Card belonging to one Mr. Anyor Fidelis, and some charms.
“As it is, among troops operating in Taraba State, are men and women from all ethnic groups in the country, Tiv and Jukun inclusive, who sacrifice their lives, undertaking hazardous and dangerous missions mostly at night, so that the good people of Taraba State can go about their daily activities without fear of intimidation.
“As such, rather than commend the troops for their diligence, sacrifices, and commitment to fostering peace in Taraba State it is most unfortunate to hear the TCSA disregard these sacrifices and efforts for cheap publicity.
“Without any doubt, troops have left no stone unturned in the effort to foster peace between various ethnic groups, notably the Tiv and Jukun whose communal clashes are well-documented in the public domain.
“These efforts are evident in the routine meetings and engagements organized by troops to bring peace to the troubled areas.
“This shows that the military has nothing against the Tiv people or any other ethnic group.