From Uche Uche, Damaturu
The Nigerian Army has reacted to accusation circulation on online media accusing soldiers of Operation LAFIYA DOLE deployed along Maiduguri – Damaturu Road of extorting commuters and causing them unnecessary hardship, saying it will carry on an investigation on the issue with a view to finding the truth and taking proper action to restore peoples’ confidence in the army.
This is contained in a press statement from Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, media coordinator, Nigerian army operations and made available to our reporter in Damaturu, Yobe State.
“The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to an online publication on 6 January 2020 by Premium Times as well as some amateur video clips circulating on some social media platforms. In the said publication, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Borno State, Prof Babagana Umara Zulum was alleged to have accused soldiers of Operation LAFIYA DOLE deployed along Maiduguri – Damaturu Road of extorting commuters and causing them unnecessary hardship”, said the army.
Colonel Aminu Iliyasu in the press statement pointed out that the Nigerian Army as a professional and disciplined institution views such allegations seriously, particularly as it is coming from a State Executive, stressing that, record has shown that whenever such allegations of troops’ misconduct were made in the past, the Nigerian Army never reneged in conducting thorough investigation to establish them and where any infractions were established against any personnel, appropriate sanctions were applied in line with extant rules and regulations as provided for in the Armed Forces Act CAP A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
Thus, he said, “the Nigerian Army wishes to assure the good people of Borno State and indeed the nation at large that any allegations of misconduct by Nigerian Army troops will be duly investigated and culprits will be dealt with accordingly.
“However, it is important to unequivocally observe that public outburst particularly by eminent personalities such as a State Executive could be counterproductive and indeed capable of reversing the gains recorded so far in the ongoing fight against insurgents and other criminal elements across the nation”, he stated further
.He however, emphatically reiterated the military steadfastness on the protection of lives, properties of all law abiding citizens as it is committed to wiping out insurgency in the North East and other forms of criminality across the country.
He therefore appealed for citizens’ continuous support and cooperation which he said is always highly appreciated and also appealed that any observed misconduct by troops could be reported directly through a toll-free code 193 for immediate remedy.