And contrary to earlier reports of the involvement of Nigerien, Chadian and Camerounian troops in the attack, fresh information yesterday indicated that only Nigerian soldiers were the brains behind it.
A reliable security source said: “Some soldiers have been arrested and detained over the Baga killings. They are being quizzed by the relevant unit.
“Of those screened, I think more than 15 of them have been implicated in the massacre. These soldiers were part of the team deployed in Baga. So, investigation is still on course.
“So far, there are intelligence reports indicating that Nigerian troops were mostly behind the Baga killings.
“There is no enough evidence that Chadian, Nigerien and Camerounian soldiers were involved in the killings.”
President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered a probe into the incident with a vow to punish any soldier implicated.
The military authorities have already dispatched a delegation to the town for an on-the-spot assessment.
At the head of the delegation is Major General Lawrence Ngubani, the Chief of Training and Operations (CTOPS) in the Defence Headquarters.
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday expressed support for a probe into the massacre.
It said the incident, coming at a time the country was looking forward to an amicable resolution of the insecurity in the land, was unfortunate.
The forum, in a communique at the end of its meeting in Kaduna, called for a thorough investigation into the matter, adding that those found guilty should be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.
The ACF in the communique signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani, noted “with shock the reports of violence between the JTF and the sect which destroyed many lives and properties in Baga village in Borno State.
“Severe shock in the sense that apart from such monumental losses, the violence has come at a time when the talks of amnesty leading to constructive dialogue is expected to inform cessation of hostilities and take advantage of the efforts being made to bring an end to the untold hardship brought about by destruction of lives and properties.
“And given different accounts of the same circumstance of such violent destruction, Arewa Consultative Forum endorsed thorough investigations by the authority of what happened with a view to unveiling the facts needed for retribution to offenders as deterrent against future occurrence.
“To that end, both the government and the governed must avoid generalizations that are not well informed by hard facts. Nigerians and the media must be wary of half truths, lest they worsen the already dire and complex situation in demand of highest level of imagination, commitment and determination that often come with patriotic courage and political will.
“The meetings also considered the circumstances of withdrawals from the Amnesty Committee by some members and resolved that even though consultations ought to precede announcements of names of members in view of the dire nature of the assignment, that should not make some members reject their membership of the Amnesty Committee.
“The Forum, therefore, called on such members to reconsider their decisions in overriding interest of the North, the nation and for humanity. This is because no sacrifice is too much to bring about peace across the nation. It is no time for blame game but for consciously directed collective efforts needed to make insecurity history.
“The Forum welcomed the consideration and coming together of the various Northern platforms, especially of ACF and Northern Elders Forum, for the express purpose of unleashing their synergy through confronting the collective challenges facing the North and the country as a whole. This is more so that most members of the different groups are still members of Arewa consultative Forum in pursuit of the same aims and objectives”.
Meanwhile, Northern governors have pleaded with Boko Haram to stop the killings in the North.
The plea was made by the Northern governors through their Chairman, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State.
The governors, in a statement, said: “The Forum has appealed to members of Boko Haram to give peace a chance, saying reverting to attacks and other acts of violence after an offer of amnesty by the federal government will not advance the course of peace.