Nigeria: Army Denies Deploying Troops Based On Ethnicity, Religion

Islamic scholar, Ahmed Gumi, had alleged that the army deploys troops based on ethnicity and religion hence bandits seek vengeance by killing residents.

The Nigerian Army has refuted claims by Islamic scholar, Ahmed Gumi, that some of its troops are deliberately deployed to kill worshipers of a certain religion.

The Army stated this , on Monday, in a statement by its spokesperson, Mohammed Yerima, a brigadier general.

In a viral video, Mr Gumi had alleged that non-Muslim soldiers launch attacks on communities in troubled northern states, prompting bandits to seek vengeance by killing residents.

Mr Gumi earlier visited Zamfara villages to have peace talks with bandits in the forest and to negotiate with them on the need to surrender their arms.

While addressing some of the bandits, Mr Gumi claimed that the soldiers were stirring confusions with the aim of wreaking havoc.

"What I want you people to understand is, soldiers that are involved in most of the criminalities are not Muslims. You know, soldiers have Muslims and non- Muslims. The non-Muslims are the ones causing confusion just to ignite a crisis," Mr Gumi said.

However, while responding to the allegations, the Army urged the public to disregard the claims which it said were capable of creating bad blood amongst Nigerians.

READ FULL STATEMENT

PRESS RELEASE

NIGERIAN ARMY DOES NOT DEPLOY ITS TROOPS ALONG ETHNIC OR RELIGIOUS LINES

The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a viral video-cilp showing the renowned and respected Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi alleging that non-Muslim soldiers were responsible for the attacks against bandits. In the video clip, the islamic scholar was seen telling the bandits that the soldiers involved in most attacks against them were non-Muslims. He further stated that they should be aware that soldiers are divided into Muslims and non- Muslims.

While the Nigerian Army would not want to join issues with the respected Sheik Ahmed Gumi, it is however important to restate that the Nigerian Army as a national institution does not deploy its troops along ethnic or religious lines.

Therefore Sheikh Ahmed Gumi and other opinion merchants are pleased to exercise restraint not to drag the image and reputation of one of the most reliable national institutions to disrepute.

The Nigerian Army remains the pride of the nation and has continually defended the territorial integrity of this great nation. Comments suggesting to mudslide the image and reputation of the Nigerian Army are not only inimical but tended towards creating bad blood amongst Nigerians.

Furthermore, most operations conducted by the Nigerian Army were done in strict adherence to rules of engagement, code of conduct and respect for the fundamental human rights of the citizenry without any exception. It is therefore disturbing that an opinion leader would deliberately want to disparage the Nigeria Army to portray it in bad light.

The Nigerian Army wishes to seize this opportunity to advise opinion leaders to be more courteous while expressing their views , taking into cognisance the imperative for national security, particularly at this difficult times when our gallant troops have redoubled their efforts to tackle the myriads of security challenges facing our dear nation. What our troops need now is public support to discharge their responsibility effectively and in the most professional manner.

MOHAMMED YERIMA

Brigadier General

Director Army Public Relations

8 March 2021

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