By Kevwe Ebireri
The Nigerian Army has described the allegation that its operations in the North are targeted at Muslims as spurious, inflammatory and false, insisting that the military remains non-partisan, non-sectarian and will continue to be the symbol of patriotism and a unifying factor in the face of threats to national sovereignty.
Army spokesman, Chris Olukolade, a major general, said contrary to the false claims, no law abiding individual, faith, ethnic group or organisation is being targeted as alleged by the Jama’atul Nasril Islam, JNI, an Islamic group..
The secretary general of the JNI, Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, had alleged extra-judicial killing of Muslims and people of Fulani ethnic group by the Nigerian military.
Olukolade said “if this wild allegation was meant to cause disaffection or brew disharmony within the military, then it has woefully failed as the Nigerian military does not operate along religious or ethnic lines”.
It therefore urged the body not to join in the fray of propagandists bent on discrediting genuine efforts at finding solutions to the nation’s security challenges, as the military will continue to be driven by patriotism and commitment to the cause of the nation and its law abiding citizens.
The Army also called on individuals with similar prejudices to abandon such biases as the challenges at hand call for prayers and support of all well-meaning organisations and groups.
It noted that the Armed Forces comprises Nigerians from all religious persuasion and cannot be used against any particular religion as purported.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Nigerian military and other security agencies do not have any policy, agenda or plans to perpetrate massacre or extra judicial killing of law abiding citizens. The authorities have no reason to take side or shield anyone from justice,” it said.
It added that the military will not be distracted by unfair imputations from any quarter and that individuals apprehended in the course of counter-terrorism campaign will continue to have access to justice as provided by law.