HEDA Applauds Borno Governor For Exposing Corrupt Soldiers 

Yemisi Izuora

The Governor of Borno State, Prof Babagana Zulum has been commended for

speaking out on soldiers accused of consistent extortion of locals in the

North East where insurgents have recently relaunched their violent

campaigns.

In a statement in Lagos, the foremost Nigerian anti-corruption

group, Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource

Centre) said Prof Zulum’s condemnation of the extortion by soldiers was

a show of moral highground.

HEDA commended the Borno State Governor for what it described as an act

of responsibility and leadership quality. Saying the action of the

Governor suggests great future expectations from him in the national

campaign against corruption

The rights group also commended the Nigerian Army through the Operations

Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Ilyasu for saying that the Army would

probe the allegation.

HEDA said its own findings from volunteers in the North East has

confirmed the position of the Borno State Governor, adding that the

Nigerian Army owes Nigerians the debt of making public its findings.

Zulum was on his way to Jakana when his convoy observed a traffic

gridlock occasioned by soldiers  and policemen attached to Operation

Lafiya Dole said to be extorting cash from motorists.

HEDA said the allegations of the Governor has reinforced widespread

public complaints about soldiers extorting locals in the troubled zones.

“We view this incidence with deep concern. When soldiers posted to

protect the people begin to take bribe from the same people they are

meant to protect, the implication is that such an armed institution will

lose public confidence which will lead to loss of public support. When

local cooperation is lost, there is no way the Army can win the battle

against terrorism”, the statement signed by HEDA Chairman, Mr Olanrewaju

Suraju stated.

HEDA said “We are monitoring the probe. We want to see the outcome of

the probe. HEDA volunteers in the North East have also been asked to

monitor the activities of soldiers on the highways to see if extortion

remains a pattern. If there are cases of further extortion, HEDA will

surely pass on the information to the appropriate authorities.”

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