Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters in a statement denied claims by some foreign media organizations that military men had a hand in Sunday’s attack on a mosque in Kaduna State which left 20 people dead. The worshipers were gunned down as they were leaving the mosque. The Defence Headquarters issued a statement to that effect late on Sunday and it reads inter alia:
“The attention of the Defence Headquarters has been drawn to the unsubstantiated claims by CNN and Aljazeera alleging that the Nigerian Military carried out an early morning attack on Muslim worshipers in a mosque at Dogo Dawa, a village near Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State, where twenty people were allegedly killed by unknown gunmen. This is contrary to reports by other local and international media organizations, who reported that the attack was carried out by unknown gunmen.
Investigation revealed that the killing was a reprisal attack by a gang of armed robbers who lost some of their members after a recent raid of their hide out through the combined effort of the villagers and the vigilante group in that community.
The Defence Headquarters wishes to state categorically in the interest of the larger society that no member of the Nigerian Armed Forces was involved in the said attack which occurred in early hours of Sunday the 14th October 2012.
We wish to reassure the general public of our readiness to offer assistance to the Nigerian Police Force and other Security Agencies whose primary responsibility is the maintenance of law and order in the society. We are committed to the defence and protection of our country’s hard earned democracy and more importantly, the Nigerian Armed Forces belong to the Nigerian people and cannot be an instrument of lawlessness and destruction of the very people it has sworn to protect, as alleged by the reports.
We urge members of the public to go about their legitimate businesses without any fear of molestation from any quarter, and to also report any breach of peace and security in the society to law enforcement agencies.
Please disseminate this information for the awareness of the general public.
Thank you for your usual cooperation and please accept the warmest regards of the Chief of Defence Staff.
Colonel MM YERIMA
Director Defence Info