The Nigerian Army on Saturday pledged to prosecute any of its personnel using social media to criticise the military authorities.
This warning was contained in a statement issued by the Director of Army Public Relations, Mohammed Yerima.
According to Yerima, “members of the Nigerian Army have established mechanisms of responding to administrative issues and resort to social media is not one of them. Any personnel caught using social media to engage the authorities will be severely dealt with.”
This stance was in response to a petition written to President Muhammadu Buhari by some Non-Commissioned Officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers to reject the proposed Nigerian Army Welfare Housing Scheme.
Yerima said the names and service numbers of signatories on the petition do not exist in Army records.
He said the Chief of Army Staff met an Army Housing Scheme in the pipeline and constituted a committee to understudy its feasibility.
Yerima added that the committee, in its bid to allow soldiers speak their mind on the scheme and know those interested in the project, designed a questionnaire.
“The signatories who claimed to be writing on behalf of NA soldiers are fictitious names and numbers which are non-existent in the Nigerian Army records.
“The current Chief of Army Staff met an Army Housing Scheme in the pipeline and constituted a committee to understudy its feasibility and desirability.
“Questionnaire was subsequently designed by the committee for soldiers to bare their minds on the scheme and to ascertain those who are interested in it.
“It was still at this stage of administering the questionnaire to soldiers that agent provocateurs seized the moment to demonise the scheme with toxic narratives.
“It is however curious that a scheme meant to benefit soldiers and families could be so flagrantly twisted in the social media using names and numbers that are alien to the Nigerian Army. The motive for this kind of strange act will ultimately be uncovered,” the statement reads.
By Mayowa Oladeji…
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