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Nigerian Army Denies Wall Street Journal Report On Secret Graveyard Where 1000 Soldiers Buried

Valentine Chinyem

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The Nigerian Defence Headquarters has debunked claims by the Wall Street Journal in a publication, accusing it of burying 1000 soldiers who died while fighting insurgency in the northeast, in a secret graveyard in the northeast.

This was released in a statement issued by Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, Director, Defence Information.

“This insinuation can only emanate from an uninformed position of the author of the said publication. It, therefore, becomes necessary to inform the public that the Armed Forces of Nigeria has a rich and solemn tradition for the interment of our fallen heroes,” he said.

“Therefore, it must be unambiguously clarified that the Armed Forces of Nigeria does not indulge in secret burials, as it is sacrilegious and profanity to extant ethos and traditions of the Nigerian military.

“In tandem with the traditions of the Armed Forces, fallen heroes are duly honoured and paid the last respect in befitting military funeral of international standard, featuring funeral parade, gravesite oration, solemn prayers for the repose of departed souls by Islamic and Christian clerics, as well as gun salutes, aside other military funeral rites.”

He however, affirmed the existence of the said cemetery, noting it is an official military cemetery dedicated in honour of Nigeria’s fallen heroes.

“The cemetery described in the publication, which is situated in Maimalari Military Cantonment is an officially designated military cemetery for the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the North East theatre, with a cenotaph erected in honour of our fallen heroes. The official cemetery has played host to several national and international dignitaries, where wreaths were laid in honour of the fallen heroes. It is, therefore, a far cry from the sacrilegious impression being painted by Wall Street Journal,” he added