Abuja — The Nigerian Army on Thursday in Abuja dismissed a recent media report that the redeployment of some senior military officers at the Jaji Military Cantonment, near Kaduna was religiously motivated.
The Director of Military Intelligence (DMI), Maj.-Gen. Ahmed Jibril, stated the army's position at an interactive session with newsmen.
Jibril said the media report was credited to a Kaduna-based religious group.
He said that the group's claim was as a result of its lack of knowledge and orientation on how military deployments were handled.
Jibril said that the Nigerian Army would continue to adhere strictly to the principles of federal character in its appointments and deployments.
"The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to some publications in the dailies on the redeployment and changes made in the aftermath of the Nov. 25 terrorist attack at the Jaji Military Cantonment.
"It is surprising that a section of the public is insinuating that the changes at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College and the Infantry Corps and Centre both in Jaji have religious connotations.
"For the avoidance of doubt, there was no religious consideration in the changes made, the changes were only effected to give room for a neutral inquiry into the attacks."
He said that comments credited to the religious group were not fair to the military that had always strived to maintain discipline and justice in all its activities.
The director said that the military was not against Islam or Muslims, noting that the present administration of the Nigerian Army had made deliberate efforts to create a new relationship with civilians.
He called on Nigerians and groups who were confused about the operations of the military to come forward for explanation, adding that the army was always open to suggestions and complaints from members of the public.
He said that the establishment of the department of civil-military relations by the army headquarters in addition to its department of public relations underscored the authority's desire to strengthen relations with the public.
Commenting on developments into investigations on the Jaji attack, the DMI said that security agencies were making progress in their investigations and that a number of suspects had been arrested.
He said that although the board setup to investigate the Jaji attack might have concluded its assignment, the report was yet to be submitted to the Chief of Army Staff.
He disclosed that a joint security operation was on-going at different locations in the country.
According to him, the military has ordered all commanders of military formations to intensify 24 hours patrol of their environments to forestall a reoccurrence of the Jaji incident.
In a related development, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Dele Ezeoba, has advised newly promoted officers in the Nigerian Navy to see their promotion as a call to higher service.
Ezeoba said this at the decoration of the newly-promoted senior officers with their new ranks by their colleagues, spouses and other members of their families at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja.
He said that promotion to their new ranks were ordained by God and urged them to use their new positions to serve humanity and the nation at large.
The naval chief cautioned them against laxity, noting that much was expected of them in their new positions to help address some of the nation's security challenges. NAN