Army Denies Zulum’s  Extortion Accusation

Richard Ginika Izuora

The Coordinator, of the Nigerian Army Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, has reacted to criticisms from Zamfara Governor Babagana Zulum regarding the troops.

In a statement titled ‘Re- Nigerian Army On Operation Lafiya Dole Collect Money At Check Points In Borno State’, Enenche said: “The attention of the Nigerian Military has been drawn to the media/air accusation by the Executive Governor of Borno State, that Nigerian Army personnel deployed at checkpoints in Operation Lafiya Dole collects money from commuters. While the Nigerian Military is in no way joining issues with the Governor, it is necessary to clarify this generalised statement against the troops who without hesitation lay down their lives for all Nigerians.

“It is worthy of note that, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have internal mechanisms to checkmate and sanction appropriately its erring personnel.

“Additionally, reported cases from the public in this regard are investigated; and given the desired attention. Thus, it will not be correct to rely on media or open-air accusation to tag our gallant Nigerian Army personnel as extortioners at checkpoints in Borno State. All personnel of the Armed Forces are patriotic and focused on their call of duty.

“The High Command of the Nigerian Military hereby re-states the commitment of the Armed Forces of Nigeria; and other Security Agencies to tackling and ending the insurgency and terrorism in the North East.”

Oriental News Nigeria, reports that Governor Zulum had criticised the military over what he described as the routine attacks of travellers and villagers by Boko Haram; along Maiduguri-Damaturu highway and soldiers inability to secure a mere 20 kilometres stretch of road.

The Governor stated this when he visited Jakana, one of the major towns along the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway, on Monday, December 21; faulting the army for Friday’s abduction of over 30 travellers.

According to Zulum, it was disappointing that the majority of the attacks within the last two years; took place between Auno and Jakana, a distance of about 20 kilometres.

A statement by the governor’s spokesman reads: “I have had occasions to defend the Nigerian military; in order to boost the morale of commanders and their troops at the front lines; because I know the true picture of things; however, I am really disappointed that despite all support; from both the federal government and from us in Borno state, our military is failing to secure an area of 20 kilometers; which is the distance between Auno and Jakana.

“And incidentally, the majority of Boko Haram’s attacks along this Maiduguri-Damaturu-Kano road; keeps happening between Auno and Jakana. So, if the military cannot secure 20 kilometers; how can they keep us with the hope they will defeat the Boko Haram?”

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