© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Army Denies Collaborating With Insurgents
By Kevwe Ebireri, Abuja/Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
The Defence Headquarters has denied allegations that some of its senior officers were collaborating with insurgents to cause unrest in the Northeast region.
Director of defence information, Chris Olukolade, a major general, said the allegations which were made over a broadcast on the Voice of America Hausa service, were most likely made by an impostor and not by an officer of the Nigerian Army.
“Ordinarily, the Nigerian soldier is too disciplined to be involved in that kind of utterances on radio. Let no terrorist propagandists hide under the guise of not wanting to disclose their source to present impostors as representing Nigerian soldiers,” he said in a statement.
The Army said further: “We do not agree that he is our soldier; we believe very strongly that he is not our soldier. We are still studying the interview to confirm the motive.”
Olukolade said the Army suspects that the intention is to create wrong impressions and cause disaffection, but that notwithstanding, it is taking the information contained in the report seriously despite the “fallacies”.
Taking the side of the military, the Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, described the allegations as unfair, unhealthy and dangerous to the unity and well being of the country.
He said insurgents will do everything to cause confusion and create an atmosphere of distrust, so as to be able to carry out even more coordinated attacks unchallenged.
Shettima said: “Of all theories being alleged in connection with the Boko Haram, the most dangerous as far as I am concerned is to raise such grievous suspicion around our security forces. When citizens grow such suspicion and believe in it, I am afraid, Boko Haram can light fire works to celebrate a grand victory of setting up citizens against the security agencies.”
The governor who made it clear he was not holding brief for the armed forces, said having worked closely with security forces in Borno since 2011, he is aware of the number of military men, police men and women as well as para-military men and women, among them commanders in the military and senior police officers, who have sacrificed their lives in the fight insurgency in the state.