Critics of Army Chief goofed on suggestion to fight insurgency spiritually – Activist Lawyer




 
 A civil right lawyer, Ugochukwu Osuagwu has described as misleading a publication in one of the national dailies suggesting that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, said terrorism and terrorist groups could not be eliminated alone by the military.


According to Osuagwu, the national daily had misquoted the army chief as saying on Monday in Abuja at a spiritual warfare seminar that “terrorism and terrorist groups could not be eliminated alone by the military unless religious bodies and organisations in the country come to the ‘forefront of the spiritual battle.”


But in the statement on Tuesday by the activist lawyer, the headline of the national daily did not justify the goal of the seminar organised by the Nigerian army on Monday on the theme “Countering insurgency and violent extremism in Nigeria through spiritual warfare.”
He wondered how the entire speech of the Army Chief amounted to seeking prayers to fight a physical war as portrayed by the publication.

Osuagwu stated that the speech by the Army Chief, represented by the Chief of Army Administration, Major Gen Sani Yusuf, never in anyway suggested using spiritualism to fight insurgency in the war front. 
He said the Chief of Army Staff only called on religious leaders to support the Nigerian Army in eradicating ideologies fueling insurgency in the country.
He urged Nigerians “to ignore the unpatriotic and sensational headline of the publication as no where in the entire speech did the Army Chief suggest that spiritual method be deployed to fight in the battlefield.”

The statement read: “My attention has been dawn to a sensational headline in one of the national dailies of October 1 2019 titled “Knocks as Buratai seeks prayers to defeat Boko Haram”.
“According to the publication, “The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, said terrorism and terrorist groups could not be eliminated alone by the military unless religious bodies and organisations in the country come to the ‘forefront of the spiritual battle.’ 
“Now, if not for mischief, how does the headline justify the goal of the seminar organized by the Nigerian Army yesterday? How does the entire speech of the Army Chief amount to seeking prayers to fight a physical war as portrayed by the publication?
“The speech by the Army Chief, though represented by the chief of Army Administration, Major Gen S.M YUSUF , never in anyway suggested using spiritualism to fight insurgency in the war front. 
“Rather the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, called on religious leaders to support the Nigerian Army in eradicating ideologies fueling insurgency in the country.
“What the Army Chief stated clearly was that aside eliminating the insurgents in the battlefield their ideologies must also be killed spiritually. Ideology is not a physical realm , it is a thought process and you do not kill ideas or ideology by physical war.
“In essence, the publication of October 1 was an attempt to portray the Army Chief as suggesting the use of spiritualism in the actual battle field and thus try to tarnish his image.
“Nigerians are urged to ignore the unpatriotic and sensational headline of the publication as no where in the entire speech did the Army Chief suggest that spiritual method will now be used to fight in the battlefield. Such publications are thus misleading,” he said. 

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