The Nigerian Army Headquarters on Tuesday said it would carry out a thorough investigation into the allegation of extortion of commuters made by the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum against its personnel in the state.
Governor Zulum had on Monday made the allegation after he encountered an incident at a military checkpoint along Damaturu-Maiduguri road, accusing the soldiers of Operation LAFIYA DOLE deployed along Maiduguri – Damaturu Road of extorting commuters and causing them unnecessary hardship.
Reacting to the allegation, the Army, in a statement by its Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, on Tuesday, said as a professional and disciplined institution, the Nigerian Army views such allegations seriously, particularly coming from a governor.
Iliyasu however, stated that army authorities had however observed that such public outburst, particularly by a state governor, could be counterproductive, adding that such outburst was capable of reversing the gains recorded so far in the ongoing fight against insurgents and other criminal elements across the nation.
“The Nigerian Army wishes to emphatically reiterate its steadfastness on the protection of lives, properties of all law abiding citizens as it is committed to wiping out insurgency in the North East and other forms of criminality across the country.
“Additionally, citizens’ continuous support and cooperation is highly appreciated.
“Any observed misconduct by troops could be reported directly through a toll – free code 193 for immediate remedy,” he said.
He noted that it is on record that, whenever such allegations of troops’ misconduct were made in the past, the Nigerian Army never reneged in conducting thorough investigations to establish them.
“Where any infractions were established against any personnel, appropriate sanctions were applied in line with extant rules and regulations as provided for in the Armed Forces Act CAP A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
“Thus, the Nigerian Army wishes to assure the good people of Borno State and indeed the nation at large that any allegations of misconduct against its troops will be duly investigated and culprits will be dealt with accordingly,” he said.
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