Soldiers under probe for campaign against Army

ABUJA: THE Nigerian Army is investigating some officers for their involvement in an alleged exercise to demonise the uniformed forces and its leaders. Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, Acting Director Army Public Relations, said the Army had received reports of some elements both within it and outside, especially through the use of the social media circle to ridicule the Nigerian Army and the person of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, "for reasons best known to them."

"They intend to execute this plan as from next month, December 2015, using all means possible; lies, fabricating baseless stories, falsehood, publishing and broadcasting them through some designated print and electronic media, most especially the Social Media," Usman said. "The Nigerian Army has identified some of the officers involved and their collaborators. The officers are being investigated to unravel their motive and motivation," added Usman. He said the public and the media were requested to be careful and wary of these disgruntled persons.

"They should please disregard any such material from them," said Usman. "The Nigerian Army holds the media in high esteem. The Nigerian media is one of the best in the world and have consistently been partners in progress and very supportive, understanding and cooperative with the Nigerian Army especially in the fight against terrorism and insurgency. This at times comes at the risk of their personal safety and corporate existence." He said the role of the media in nation building and conflict resolution, peace building and social responsibility was never in doubt and the stakeholder had proven to be very important stakeholders in collective efforts to restore peace and stability.

"With this and so many other things, the media, especially the online publications, should not be involved or lured into such dubious campaign. As always, our doors are open for clarification, enquiries and reactions on any issue concerning the Nigerian Army before filing or publicizing such stories." Usman said it was imperative to note that the fight against Boko Haram terrorists was at critical stage and thus any attack on the Nigerian Army will be counter productive and serious distraction on the fight against terrorism and insurgency. "Consequent upon this, we are calling on all Nigerians not to fall prey to their campaign of calumny. This is because their evil intents would be distractive and capable of reversing the gains on the fight against Boko Haram terrorists,".