Army dismisses claim of recruiting jihadists

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The Nigerian Army says audio-visual recording being circulated purportedly suggesting that the army is recruiting Islamic fundamentalists and jihadists is misleading.

This is contained in a statement by the Director, Army Public Relations, Maj.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, on Tuesday in Abuja.

Nwachukwu said the footage also falsely portrayed an officer calling on Muslim young men to join the military to protect and propagate Islam.

He said that the narrative depicted in the footage is not in any instance a reflection of the true values and standards of the army.

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“It is targeted at sparking palpable anxiety and fear, sowing discord and mistrust amongst our personnel, eroding public confidence in the integrity of the army,“he said.

Nwachukwu said it is also targeted particularly among Christian and non-Muslim communities, who might feel their lives and faith are under threat, and ultimately engender religious crisis in the country.

“The Nigerian army remains steadfast in upholding professionalism and impartiality as an institution devoid of ethnic and religious bigotry.

“Our operational and administrative processes and actions are guided by the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and not ethnicity or religious sentiments,” he said.

Nwachukwu urged the public to dismiss this misleading report, which evidently stems from a misconception and lack of understanding about Nigerian Army’s Standing Operating Procedures (SOP).

He said it was crucial to restate that any deviation from army’s SOP was met with appropriate disciplinary action, regardless of the personnel’s religious affiliation.

“We call on all citizens to rise above these divisive tactics and stand united.

“The strength of Nigeria lies in her unity in diversity, and it is this unique national strength and trait that the army seeks to protect while carrying out its constitutional responsibilities.

“The Nigerian army remains committed to serving and protecting all Nigerians, irrespective of religious or ethnic affiliations.

“Let us work together to maintain the peace and unity of our great nation,” he said. (NAN) 

By Sumaila Ogbaje

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