Army Reacts To Borno Governor’s Extortion Allegation

Army Reacts To Borno Governor’s Extortion Allegation
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The Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col Aminu Iliyasu has reacted to the allegation by Borno state Governor, Babagana Zulum, that soldiers of Operation Lafiya Dole deployed along Maiduguri–Damaturu Road, were extorting commuters, as well as causing them unnecessary hardship.

In a press statement by Col Aminu Iliyasu, which was made available to newsmen, he stated that the allegation was capable of reversing the gains recorded by the Army.

He, therefore, said It is important to unequivocally observe that public outbursts, 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.

“The Nigerian Army as a professional and disciplined institution views such allegations seriously, particularly coming from a State Executive,” the statement read.

“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.

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“Thus, the Nigerian Army wishes to assure the good people of Borno State and indeed the nation at large that any allegations of misconduct against the Nigerian Army troops will be duly investigated and culprits will be dealt with accordingly.

“The Nigerian Army wishes to emphatically reiterate its steadfastness on the protection of lives, and property of all law-abiding citizens as it is committed to wiping out insurgents from the North East and other forms of criminality across the country.”

The statement urged citizens’ continuous support and cooperation is high, stressing that any observed misconduct by troops could be reported directly through a toll – free code 193 for immediate remedy.

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In a similar statement released by the spokesman of Borno state Governor, Mallam Isa Gusau, said the speedy response from the Army Headquarters only reaffirms what every Nigerian already knows about the exceptional leadership credentials of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, and many others that have done so much for Borno and Nigeria.

The statement said that Governor Zulum is very pleased with the swift action from the Army Headquarters and by implication, Headquarters of Operation Lafiya Dole.

He hinted that Zulum’s encounter with security officials around Njimtilo yesterday happened spontaneously.  He was on his way to Jakana to meet citizens over a recent attack by insurgents. Going to Jakana required the Governor’s convoy passing through Njimtilo.

“As someone who took an oath to serve the people of Borno State under every situation, he could not drive past the gridlock he saw around Njimtilo, hence he needed to step in.

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“Nevertheless, yesterday’s encounter does not and will not change the very high regard the Governor has for all the security personnel operating in Borno, particularly soldiers who give up their lives and safety in finding peace for Borno.

“Zulum acknowledges and respects the sacrifices of these soldiers and the fact that they put their lives on the line operating in high ways, where insurgents try to ambush them.

However, he also knows that civil-military cooperation will be better enhanced when certain conducts of few are addressed in other to preserve and protect the integrity of majority of security personnel who not only do the right things but make the ultimate sacrifices of giving up their lives for Borno citizens while others abandon their families for months and years fighting at the front lines”, the statement said.


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