Nigerian Army cautions Gumi, says does not deploy troops along ethnic, religious lines

The Nigerian Army says it does not deploy troops along ethnic or religious lines in the ongoing operations in dealing with terrorism, banditry, and other challenges confronting the nation.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Yerima, said this statement Monday in reaction to a statement allegedly credited to Sheikh Ahmed Gumi.

While noting that Gumi had alleged that non-Muslim soldiers were responsible for the attacks against bandits, Yerima urged him to exercise restraint not to drag the and reputation of the Nigerian Army to disrepute.

According to him,  the Islamic scholar was seen in the video clip telling the bandits that the soldiers involved in most attacks against them were non-Muslims and that soldiers were divided into Muslims and non- Muslims.

He explained that 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 any exception.

Yerima said it was therefore, disturbing that an opinion leader would deliberately want to disparage the Nigeria army to portray it in bad light.

He advised opinion leaders to be more courteous while expressing views.

He also urged them to take into cognisance the imperative for national , particularly at a time when troops had redoubled efforts to tackle the myriads of challenges facing our dear nation.

According to him, the only thing the gallant troops need now public support to discharge responsibility effectively and in most professional manner.

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

“Therefore Sheikh Gumi and other opinion merchants are please enjoined to exercise restraint not to drag the 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 and reputation of the Nigerian Army are not only inimical but tended towards creating bad blood amongst ,” he said. (NAN)