The Nigerian Army has dismissed an allegation that it was deploying only officers from the Northern part of the country to fight the growing insecurity in the South-East.
The Army has argued that the online publication that has fueled the rumour, was targeted at steering discord and disunity among peace-loving Nigerians amid rising tension in the zone.
In a statement issued on Monday, Army spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yerima said the military was only responding to the illogical narrative for the good of members of the public.
He said that the army, as a national force, does not post its personnel along ethnic or religious lines, adding that postings were routine exercises based mainly on professional competencies.
“For the records, let it be clear in everyone’s mind that the Nigerian Army does not train, deploy or operate along ethnic, religious, tribal or regional divides,” read the statement
“Senior officers are posted to command units based on their capability and competence taking into consideration their posting history.
“Furthermore, officers are the most frequently posted personnel of the Nigerian Army.
“However, because of the bias and seed of discord that the author of the report wanted to sow, he did not do a thorough background check of his report.”
Yerima went on to call on all Nigerians to disregard the content of the, clarifying that Brig.-Gen. Farouk Mijinyawa was never the Commander of 16 Brigade of the Nigerian Army as claimed by the online publication.
He further stated that the General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Enugu, Maj.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja is from South-West while the Commander 34 Brigade Owerri. Brig.-Gen. Raymond Utsaha is from the North Central.
He added that the General Officer Commanding 2 Division Ibadan, Maj.-Gen. Gold Chibuisi is of Southeast extraction, to stress that the Army never deploys officers based on ethnicity.
His statement added: “The Nigerian Army would like to request all peace-loving Nigerians to disregard the content of the article as it lacks logic.
“The Nigerian Army remains committed to the defence of the territorial integrity of Nigeria as well as protecting lives and properties of all citizens and residents.
“It solicits for the continuous support of all patriotic Nigerians in stamping out activities of criminals including subversive and divisive elements for a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.”
The South-East has lately been experiencing violence, with killings and other forms of attacks being reported on a weekly basis.
Ripples Nigeria had reported the killing of no fewer than 11 alleged members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by the Nigerian Army in Orlu, Imo state over the past weekend.
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