The Nigerian Army has rejected the statement by a former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), who accused the military of complicity in the killings in Taraba, Benue and other “riverine states” in the country.
Danjuma had on Saturday during the convocation ceremony of the Taraba State University accused the military for not being neutral and covering those behind the attacks, which has claimed scores of lives this year alone.
He further blamed the continued bloodshed in part of the country on the complicity of the military and therefore called on Nigerians to defend themselves from attacks.
But reacting in a statement, the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Texas Chukwu, said the Nigerian Army has been living up to its constitutional responsibility of defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
In this regard, Exercise Cat Race in an operation that engages troops to curb the menace of the herdsmen-farmers conflict and other criminal activities in the North Central Region amongst others.
“It is noteworthy to state that at the inception of Ex Ayem Akpatuma, the Taraba State Government, did not cooperate with the Nigerian Army due to the Army’s stance to remain absolutely neutral in the herdsmen-farmers crisis,” he said on Sunday.
He added, “It is on record that the successes so far achieved in Ex Ayem Akpatuma in the North Central Region amongst others have been recognised and accepted by Nigerians.”
The defence spokesperson stated further that the military would not want to join issues with the elder statesman but to set the record straight.
He, however, regretted that while living up to its task of safeguarding the nation, some of its officers paid the supreme price in the battle against criminality.
“The public is notified that Nigerian Army personnel have had to pay the supreme price for ensuring the sustenance of security in Taraba State. For instance, a gallant non-commission officer of the Nigerian Army was beheaded on 16 March 2018 in Takum Taraba State by criminal elements.”
While calling on Nigerians to be law abiding, Chukwu also reiterated the zeal of the military to deal with anyone found culpable in breaking law and order across the country.