Army’s spokesman, Onyema Nwachukwu, said this in a statement released on Wednesday evening, June 23, Daily Nigerian reported.
Gumi, a respected Islamic cleric, had made the allegations when he appeared as a guest on ARISE earlier on Wednesday.
However, in his response, Nwachukwu said the Nigerian Army remained a symbol of national unity that has discharged its constitutional responsibilities in the most professional manner in line with global best practices, Vanguard also reported.
He said that army personnel had always adhered to the rules of engagement and protection of the fundamental human rights of the citizenry.
The Army’s spokesperson said Sheikh Gumi’s sweeping allegation is not only sad and unfortunate but a calculated attempt to denigrate the Nigerian military and undermine the sacrifices of the patriotic troops who are working tirelessly to restore peace and stability across the country.
Nevertheless, the Nigerian Army admitted that there could be some bad eggs in the service but vowed to ensure any personnel conniving with the criminals will be severely dealt with.
The statement read partly:
“It is essential to remind ourselves that these same military, being accused of connivance, are the ones who recently put their lives on the line to rescue abductees of the Government Secondary School, Birnin Yawuri from kidnappers.
While the NA will not attempt to excuse the possibility of black sheep amongst its fold, it must be stated unambiguously that it will not condone any form of sabotage or aiding and assisting the enemy by any personnel.
“The provisions for dealing decisively with such acts are crystallised in Section 45 (1) of the Armed Forces Act CAP A 20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”
The Nigerian Army has also enjoined opinion leaders to demonstrate patriotism in building the peace, rather than being agents of desstabilisation by aggravating the current security challenges facing the nation.
The statement concluded:
“The NA wishes to reassure law abiding citizens that troops will continue to conduct themselves professionally in consonance with the code of conduct guiding our operations in all combat engagements, in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and global best practice.
“Citizens are enjoined to continue to support military operations by providing useful information to defence and security agencies and together we shall rid our society of these criminal elements.”