The Nigerian Army has alleged that some unidentified Nigerians and foreign parties were working together to divide the military and set it against itself and the people. It warned that if unchecked, the activities of these persons could exacerbate the security situation in the country, and the West African Sub-region.
Per Col. Sagir Musa, Acting Director Army Public Relations:
- “Credible source has shown that some individuals are hobnobbing with Boko Haram terrorists, while others are deliberately churning falsehood against the security agencies with a view to set the military against the people and the government.
- “They are also demoralising troops and security agencies through false accusations and fake news
- “We also noted that foreign interests are also working assiduously to cause disaffection and divide the coalition Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to give room for the so-called Islamic State for West African Province (ISWAP) and its defeated local franchise, Boko Haram terrorists group to resurrect.
- “Some of these mischievous elements thought that we would not have safe and successful general elections but were proved wrong, hence they want to derail the scheduled handing over later this month and to scuttle the democratic process in the country.”
The Army said it would do its part to defend Nigeria’s territorial integrity from internal and external aggression. “The consequences of their actions (the accused individuals) would be calamitous to themselves and our great country.”
Backdrop: Recently, the Nigerian Army accused a member of the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative, Dr. Sidi Ali Mohammed of being a sympathiser of the terrrorist group in response to his allegations that the Nigerian army fighters earned ridiculously low wages compared to those on the Boko Haram side. The Army remarked:
- “He (Ali Mohammed) must have been associated with the terrorists’ group beyond what he may want the public to know for having the knowledge of how much a terrorist earns per day to commit atrocities against fellow Nigerians and other innocent people including women and children.’
- “It is also a way of swaying the gullible youths to believe the lies of Boko Haram terrorists as being peddled by him.”
Bottomline: We cannot determine the veracity of the military’s public relations statement. We can hardly ever know when the military is being truthful. However, it appears the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, Jeremy Hunt recently warned Nigeria of an impending Islamic State attack from an outpost around the North East. According to the reports, Hunt warned that the violence could “escalate quickly and… get out of control”. The Nigerian Army should be concerned and address Nigerians about this as well.