The Nigerian Army has described as unfortunate a statement credited to a former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, that the military is colluding with armed bandit carrying out killings in country.
The former Chief of Army Staff, on Saturday during the maiden convocation of the Taraba State University, accused the military of aiding killer herdsmen in the country.
“The armed forces are not neutral. They collude; they collude; they collude with the armed bandits that kill people and kill Nigerians. They facilitate their movement. They cover them,” Danjuma, an ex-defence minister said in a rare outburst.
The Army in its reaction by public relations director, Texas Chukwu, Brigadier General said the Taraba State Government was not cooperating with the Nigerian Army in ending the current herdsmen-farmers crisis.
According to the Army, the public is notified that Nigerian Army personnel have had to pay the supreme price for ensuring the sustenance of security in Taraba State.
“The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to the unfortunate statement made by a former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, during the convocation ceremony of the Taraba State University on Saturday 24 March 2018 in which he categorically asserted that the Armed Forces of Nigeria was colluding with militias and other criminal elements and was unable to provide security for the citizens of Taraba State.
“He further called the people of Taraba State to take up arms and defend themselves. The Nigerian Army views this statement made by the former Chief of Army Staff as most unfortunate at this critical time that the military has embarked upon demilitarisation of the North Central Region of the Country”.
“It is on record that the successes so far achieved in Ex AYEM AKPATUMA have been recognised and accepted by Nigerians. The public is notified that Nigerian Army personnel have had to pay the supreme price for ensuring the sustenance of security in Taraba State. For instance, a gallant non-commission officer of the Nigerian Army was beheaded on 16 March 2018 in Takum Taraba State by criminal elements”.
“It is noteworthy to state that at the inception of Ex AYEM AKPATUMA, the Taraba State Government, did not cooperate with the Nigerian Army due to the Army’s stance to remain absolutely neutral in the herdsmen-farmers crisis.
“The Nigerian Army will continue to remain as such. For avoidance of doubt, the Nigerian Army advises the people of Taraba State and indeed all other Nigerians to continue in their day-to-day activities and be law abiding as anyone caught with arms and ammunition will be dealt with accordance with the laws of the land. Every law-abiding citizen is assured of equal protection and security of their lives and property irrespective of his/her person”.