Nigerian Army soldiers are seen driving on a military vehicle in Ngamdu, Nigeria, on November 3, 2020. (Photo by Audu Marte / AFP)
The Nigerian Army has dismissed allegations by a lawmaker in Abia that the military officers were aiding and abetting criminality in Isuikwuato Local Government Area of the state.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement in Abuja, warned the lawmaker to desist from such blackmail.
Nwachukwu said that the assembly member representing Isuikwuato constituency of Abia had alleged that when security agents arrested suspected kidnappers of Abia State University lecturers, a certain call came from a high military formation ordering their release.
“Much as we do not want to join issues with the insinuators, it is crucial to set the record straight.
“If truly the claims in the said report emanated from the lawmaker, then we must state without mincing words that they are not only unfounded but a travesty of facts and reality.
“The claim is completely devoid of truth. It is most unfair for anyone at that height of the social ladder to sponsor a smear campaign against the Nigerian Army for whatever reason; particularly knowing that he has access to the leadership of the military.
“Contrary to the narrative being peddled in the said report, it took the gallantry of our men on patrol to rescue the victims of the said kidnap incident before handing them over to the police.
“How then could the same army that was instrumental to the rescue of the victims, turn around to order the release of the suspects.
“Evidently, this is illogical and a blatant lie,” he said.
Nwachukwu said that the report was an abysmally failed attempt at blackmailing the army for denying unscrupulous elements the freedom of action to foist lawlessness and violence on the good people and government of Abia.
He said that the lawmaker was supposed to have sought clarifications from the army before resorting to media trials.
He appealed to members of the public to approach the army on any issue requiring clarification rather than resorting to blackmail.
According to him, the Nigerian army is firmly committed to the fight against banditry and criminality in the country.
“Nigerians, including residents of Abia state, are assured of their security as we relentlessly continue to discharge our constitutional responsibilities,” he said.