Army replies Gumi, debunks claim of colluding with bandits

The Nigerian Army has debunked an allegation credited to a popular Kaduna based Muslim cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi that its personnel are colluding with bandits ravaging some parts of the country.

A statement issued by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu on Wednesday insisted that it is an institution that carries out its functions in line with global best practices.

Gumi who featured on ARISE TV Morning Show on Wednesday had alleged that the Nigerian military is colluding with marauding bandits who have been responsible for various crimes and atrocities against Nigerians and the Nigerian state.

Reacting, Nwachukwu said, “The Nigerian Army wishes to state that contrary to Sheik Gumi’s claims, the Nigerian Army remains a bona fide 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.

“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.”

“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.

“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 destabilisation, thereby aggravating the current security challenges facing the nation.

“The Nigerian Army 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.”

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