Nigerian Defence Headquarters on Thursday dismissed the claim by Boko Haram terror group that the recent massacre of over 70 rice farmers in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria was retaliation for the arrest of one of them, describing it as a mere fallacy and propaganda.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that John Enenche, the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, said the claim was to instil fear in the minds of the people.
“It is a fallacy that because we killed one of them and that the farmers gave information about them, but the likelihood is wickedness,” Enenche said.
He added that the terrorists “want to use that to instil fear in the minds of the people because they have seen the governor trying to make sure that people return to their homes”.
According to the Defense Spokesperson, the terror group uses the propaganda whenever it loses ground as one of its major weapons.
“Our message here for the general public is that they should not be discouraged and that we are moving forward and with your cooperation, we are going to end this menace,” he said.
Enenche maintained that the claim was the practice of the sect with the sole motive of instigating fear in the minds of the people to discourage them from cooperating with the security agencies.
He explained that the information gathered by the military from one of the survivors revealed that the farmers were called for a meeting with the terrorists on the sad day before they were slaughtered.
In a video obtained by HumAngle, the Shekau’s faction of Boko Haram claimed responsibility for slaughtering 78 farmers on Saturday, November 28, after accusing them of arresting one of their members and handing him to the Nigerian military.
On Sunday, 43 victims of the massacre were given a mass burial led by Babagana Zulum, Governor of Borno State.