The Nigerian Army has reiterated that neither ethnic nor religious sentiments are considered when troops are being deployed for service.
The Nigerian Army, responding to a viral video-cilp showing the renowned and respected Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi alleging among others, that solsiers are divided into Muslims and non-Muslims, refuted the allegations and restated that the Nigerian Army as a national institution does not deploy its troops along ethnic or religious lines.
TheFact Nigeria gathered that Sheikh Gumi, in the video, was seen telling the bandits that the soldiers involved in most attacks against them were non-Muslims.
In a statement issued today by the Army Spokesman, Brig. Gen. M. Yerima, the Nigerian Army enjoins Sheikh Ahmed Gumi and other opinion merchants to excercise caution and restraint while airing their opinions, so as not to drag the image and reputation of one of the most reliable national institutions to disrepute.
The statement further emphasizes that the “Nigerian Army remains the pride of the nation and has continually defended the territorial integrity of this great nation”. As such, “comments suggesting to mudslide the image and reputation of the Nigerian Army are not only inimical but tended towards creating bad blood amongst Nigerians”.
According to the statement, “most operations conducted by the Nigerian Army are done in strict adherence to rules of engagement, code of conduct and respect for the fundamental human rights of the citizenry without any exception. It is therefore, disturbing that an opinion leader would deliberately want to disparage the Nigeria Army to portray it in bad light”.
Furthermore, the Nigerian Army advises opinion leaders to be more courteous while expressing their views, taking into cognisance the imperative for national security, particularly at this difficult times when our gallant troops have redoubled their efforts to tackle the myriads of security challenges facing the nation.
The NA also appeals to the general public for the much needed public support for the nation’s troops to discharge their responsibility effectively and in the most professional manner.