The Nigerian Army has refuted comments by Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi that its personnels are colluding with bandits.
Sheikh Gumi had when appearing on ARISE TV Morning Show on Wednesday, 23 June 2021 alleged that soldiers are colluding with marauding bandits who have been responsible for various crimes and atrocities against Nigerians.
But Army spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu in a statement Wednesday, said contrary to Gumi’s claims, “the Nigerian Army remains a symbol of national unity that has conducted its constitutional responsibilities in the most professional manner in line with global best practices of adherence to the rules of engagement and protection of the fundamental human rights of the citizenry.”
He described the allegation as calculated attempt to denigrate the Nigerian military and undermine the sacrifices of its personnel.
He said: “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, as 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.”
He called opinion leaders and commentators to be patriotic by being agents of peace rather than fueling the security situation.
He said:”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. It is also necessary to reiterate that patriotism must be taken to a trajectory where subversive conversations on the state are brought to the barest minimum.
“Opinion leaders are enjoined to demonstrate patriotism in building the peace, rather than being agents of distabilization, thereby aggravating the current security challenges facing the nation.”