Nigeria’s army chief of staff told an inquiry on Tuesday that his soldiers had acted appropriately during a bloody raid last month on a minority Shi’ite sect in which at least 60 people were killed. Speaking to an inquiry panel of the National Human Rights Commission into the raid,Buratai said
“I’m here because I was there during the incident. I was involved and my officers and soldiers acted in accordance with the rule of engagement,”
“There is no way we would pick our weapons and deliberately violate what we have been tasked and paid to defend and protect,”
This is quite fundamental. We have constitutional responsibility. Drawn from that constitutional responsibility, we also have our rules and regulations. And drawn from that, we have a duty to perform in restoring peace and order where such peace and order are being disturbed. So, we followed our rules of engagement, which are derived from the various laws.”“The circumstances that led to the incident of December 12, 2015 have been well articulated by officers that were involved. I was in the convoy. It was my convoy, the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff.“I left Dutse that morning, hoping to arrive Zaria on time, to attend the passing out parade of the 73 Regular Recruit of Intakes. But, the convoy was blocked when we entered the Zaria City.
“What transpired has been documented by the officers that were with me. They have also made their own statements. And they are here to give full account of what transpired. We are here because we respect human rights.“We are here because we know the sanctity of the human life which we have sworn to protect. One of our constitutional roles is to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria, which also include the totality of the protection of human rights and indeed, the property of every Nigeria. We have laid down our lives as army officers and soldiers over the years in the course of performing our constitutional roles.