By Sumaila Ogbaje
Abuja, June 23, 2021 The Nigerian Army has dismissed Sheikh Ahmad Gumi’s allegation that its personnel were colliding with bandits who had been responsible for various crimes and atrocities against Nigerians and the Nigerian state.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement on Wednesday, was reacting to Gumi’s allegations on ARISE TV Morning Show on Wednesday.
Nwachukwu said that the Nigerian Army remained a symbol of national unity that had discharged its constitutional responsibilities in the most professional manner in line with global best practices.
He said that army personnel had always adhered to the rules of engagement and protection of the fundamental human rights of the citizenry.
According to him, the sweeping allegation peddled by the scholar is not only sad and unfortunate, but a calculated attempt to denigrate the Nigerian military and undermine the sacrifices of our patriotic troops, who are working tirelessly to restore peace and stability across the country.
“It is essential to remind ourselves that these same military, being accused of connivance, are the ones who recently put their lives on the line to rescue abductees of the Government Secondary School, Birnin Yawuri from kidnappers.
“While the NA will not attempt to excuse the possibility of black sheep amongst its fold, it must be stated unambiguously that it will not condone any form of sabotage or aiding and assisting the enemy by any personnel.
“The provisions for dealing decisively with such acts are crystallised in Section 45 (1) of the Armed Forces Act CAP A 20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
“It must also be pointed out, that while the military is very much receptive to constructive criticism, it should not be perceived as a gateway for derogatory comments that have the potential to embolden criminals,” he said.
The Army spokesperson also cautioned that patriotism be taken to a trajectory where subversive conversations on the state were brought to the barest minimum.
He also enjoined opinion leaders to demonstrate patriotism in building the peace, rather than being agents of desstabilisation by aggravating the current security challenges facing the nation.
“The NA wishes to reassure law abiding citizens, that troops will continue to conduct themselves professionally in consonance with the code of conduct guiding our operations in all combat engagements, in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and global best practice.
“Citizens are enjoined to continue to support military operations by providing useful information to defence and security agencies and together we shall rid our society of these criminal elements,” he said.