The Defence Headquarters(DHQ) said it would not hesitate to seek legal action against Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) if it continues to mislead Nigerians over the crisis in Plateau State.

It said as a responsible human right organisation, instead of cultivating the habit of responsible use of the media to disseminate truth, HURIWA has continued to spread falsehoods in order to create tension in the country.

The military high command said this in a statement by the Director Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Tukur Gusau, on Monday, January 5.

The statement came against the backdrop of HURIWA’s on Sunday where it faulted the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa’s approach to addressing the ongoing violence in Plateau State.

In the statement by HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, the organisation expressed deep concerns over the recent escalation of violence, particularly the Christmas Eve attacks on over 20 communities in the Barkin-Ladi, Mangu and Bokkos areas.

The rights group criticised the CDS’ response, especially the deployment of a Special Fact-Finding Team led by retired Major-General Augustine Agundu to investigate the root causes of the attacks.

But reacting to the statement the Defence Headquarters said HURIWA was “ill-informed and could not spend time researching on efforts the military had made to restore normalcy in troubled areas of the country.”

The statement said: “ For the record, the Fact-Finding Team headed by an experienced retired senior military officer was constituted by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Christopher Musa, following the deployment of military hardwares including highly trained intelligence personnel and special forces to troubled areas of the State to ensure perpetrators of dastardly attacks are brought to justice. 


“Consequent upon this, the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja visited Plateau State on 27 January, 2024 and gave the troops specific orders to deal decisively with those fermenting troubles leading to loss of lives and properties. Recently, numerous intelligence-driven operations have been conducted leading to the arrest of key suspects who are currently undergoing interrogation. 

“The DHQ calls on HURIWA being one of the respected human rights groups to cultivate the habit of seeking credible information on issues especially as it concerns National Security before approaching the media. It is evident the group was ill-informed and could not spend time researching on efforts the military had made to restore normalcy in troubled areas of the country. 

“The DHQ would have naturally overlooked the ignorance of HURIWA on this matter, but finds it necessary to educate civil society organizations on the responsible use of the media not to disseminate falsehoods and create tension where none exists. 

“We therefore advise HURIWA to henceforth be passionate to seek adequate information on issues of national importance and stop misleading the public deliberately. 

“The DHQ would take strong legal action should such a mistake repeat itself.”

“The military high command said the CDS appreciated the support of the Nigerians to troops deployed on various operations across the country, for their “unquantifiable sacrifices” to ensure peace in our nation. 

“The CDS is confident the troops will stamp out criminality in Plateau State and the country at large,” the statement said.



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