By Cletus Opukeme
Nigerian Army has debunked allegation against then by the Borno state governor Professor Babagana Umara Zulum of civilian harassment and extortion of drivers and other road users in Borno State.
In a press statement by the media coordinator Col. Aminu Iliyasu said ” The attention of 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. The Nigerian Army as a professional and disciplined institution views such allegations seriously, particularly coming from a State Executive. It is on record that, whenever such allegations of troops’ misconduct were made in the past, the Nigerian Army never reneged in conducting thorough investigations 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, 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.
He noted that the Nigerian Army wishes to emphatically reiterate its 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 called on citizens’ continuous support and cooperation to form a synergy in the fight against terrorism and others of crminalities.
He called on the public to alert the army of any observed misconduct by troops could be reported directly through a toll – free code 193 for immediate remedy