Nigerian army to probe alleged Igbo mistreatment video


The Nigerian army has said it was probing an unverified video purporting to show several Igbo separatists being mistreated and forced to lie in -- and drink -- muddy water allegedly in the southeast region of the country.

The footage was released in Nigeria late Wednesday, provoking outrage and widespread criticisms of government troops deployed in parts of the country's southeast where calls for a separate homeland for ethnic Igbo has festered.

"I don't know which video you are talking about but whatever it is, we have had complaints of videos online," army spokesman Sani Usman told popular Channels Television.

"The General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Maj. Gen. Adamu Abubakar, is investigating it and whatever it is, we will definitely let the public know about the outcome," he added.

The video is trending on several prominent local media, drawing various reactions across Nigeria.

Half-naked and lying face down, young men are shown being whipped and then ordered to lie in muddy water -- the video does not mention a location.

The footage emerged late Wednesday on Facebook allegedly from Umuahia in southeastern Abia State, the hometown of separatist chief Nnamdi Kanu, where soldiers are carrying out an "operation python dance" aimed at suppressing secessionist threats.

Kanu is canvassing for a separate homeland for ethnic Igbo over claims of marginalization. He is to be tried for treason in October.

Tension has reached fever pitch in southeast as army closes in on Kanu, with Igbo leaders demanding an immediate withdrawal of troops from the area.

Nigeria has seen agitation by the Igbo ethnic group for a separate country, with secessionist calls in Biafra -- scene of a 1967-1970 civil war -- and northern Nigeria.

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