The Nigerian Army has debunked a chilling claim made by popular Islamic Cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, suggesting that some bad eggs in the security system of Nigeria are colluding with bandits to perpetrate crimes and atrocities in the country.
The New Diplomat had reported that Gumi, who spoke on Arise TV, Wednesday had alleged that the weapons being used by the bandits are being shipped across the borders into the country with the knowledge of some bad elements in the nation’s security apparatus.
Gumi said: “These bandits, if you don’t know are operating with alot of bad elements in the our security system. This is a big business, many people are involved, I am still against everybody committing crime against this country.
“How can these big weapons get across our borders and get into the forest without the cooperation of some elements in the security system? It is not possible. If I give you the same weapon can you take it to the UK? You cannot get it there because their security system is alert.”
Reacting to the damning allegation by Gumi, the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement, described it as false and unfounded.
Nwachukwu stated that the Nigerian Army has been discharging its duties in line with the constitution, adding that the members of the force carry out their responsibilities in the most professional manner in line with global best practices.
According to the Army Spokesperson, the allegations made by the cleric is a calculated attempt to soil the integrity of the Army personnel who are putting their lives on the line to secure the country.
“It is essential to remind ourselves that this 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.
“The 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,” he said.
The Army spokesperson, however, assured the citizens that the Army is committed to securing the country in line with the provision of the constitution.
“The NA 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.
“Citizens are enjoined to continue to support military operations by providing useful information to defence and security agencies and together we shall rid our society of these criminal elements,” he added.