Ahead of the upcoming gubernatorial and States Houses of Assembly election slated for this weekend, Saturday 18th March 2023, the Nigerian Army today restated its nationalistic scope and apolitical stance. It also used the opportunity to address mischievous claims on social media aimed at discrediting the Army.
In his press release yesterday which he granted the National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu disclosed: ‘The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a deliberately calculated smear campaign in the Social Media and other fora against some of our senior commanders and officers. While these unconscionable acts are inexplicable, the motivation behind them are not far-fetched.’
‘In the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections, officers and men of the Nigerian Army adopted a firm and resolute stance in providing security support for the Elections in a manner that effectively curbed and prevented ill-intentioned groups from violently interfering with the process. There is no doubt that Nigerians are excited at this responsible posture and the democratic opportunity it offered them. However, some interest groups, that were effectively prevented from hatching their nefarious plots to influence the course of the elections through violence, are understandably piqued by this assertiveness of the Nigerian Army.’
On the capacity of the Army, Nwachukwu affirmed: ‘As constitutionally conceived, the Nigerian Army is nationalistic in its make-up and organization, drawing strengths from the diversities in our great nation. Our responsibilities, so far as elections are concerned, remain that of providing support to primary law enforcement and stakeholders in the Electioneering process towards ensuring that Nigerians are allowed to choose their leaders and representatives in a peaceful manner. This goal remains our only focus and one we would continue to pursue, mindful that the average citizen expects nothing less from his Army.’
‘The Army Headquarters wishes to assure the public that any misconduct against any of its personnel would be responsibly investigated and any subsequent substantiation would attract the appropriate disciplinary sanctions in accordance with established practices and extant laws. In the same vein, it should equally be appreciated that the character and reputation of a senior officer earned over 3 decades of meritorious service cannot be allowed to be destroyed by misguided elements through mere speculations. The resort to the sentiments of ethnic and religious colourations would not also diminish the Nigerian’s Army resolve to carry on its roles professionally’, he told NAOSNP.
Brig. Gen. Nwachukwu concluded: ‘The Nigerian Army, therefore, urges all Nigerians to ignore the mischief being propagated by ill-intentioned individuals and groups, and continue to go about their civic responsibilities without any fear of molestation. We would continue to work with sister Services and other Security Agencies to meet all security-related expectations of citizens as enshrined in the laws of the Federation.’