…Condemns Shiites’ letter to US Government
…Frowns at calls for Buratai’s resignation
By Kingsley Omonobi, Abuja
The Nigerian Army, on Saturday, expressed misgivings over attempts by those it referred to as Boko Haram sympathizers to denigrate its patriotic efforts at decimating the terrorists, checkmating their murderous exploits and clearing them out of the North East.
The Army said, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shiites Islamic Group) wrote to the United States Government, criticizing it for planning to sell Super Tucano Aircraft to Nigerian Airforce, saying the US should rescind the decision as the military would use them to perpetrate atrocities against the innocent.
In another instance, the Army said it was unreasonable for people to call for the resignation of its Chief of Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, over failure of Operation Lafiya Dole to arrest Boko Haram Leader, Abubakar Shekau, after a 40-day ultimatum he gave to the troops.
A statement signed by its Director of Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman, partly reads: “The Nigerian Army wishes to note with great concern the recent spate of negative, unguarded comments and derogative publications both on mainstream and on online media, denigrating the Armed Forces of Nigeria particularly, the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Air Force, by some unidentified, unscrupulous and unpatriotic individuals and groups.
“This worrisome trend is observed mostly whenever we record successes in our military operations against Boko Haram terrorists and other laudable military endeavours such as when the United States Government decided to sell Tucano aircrafts to Nigeria.
“First there was a letter written by some self-appointed leaders of Islamic Movement of Nigeria on 17th August 2017 to United States of American government exhorting it to rescind its decision to sell Tucano aircraft, weapons and military hardware to Nigeria citing baseless reasons.
“This was followed by another round of cacophony of lies and unfounded allegations through media interviews by some individuals and bloggers and on Facebook and other Social media platforms, and followed by concocted statistics by a well-known Non-Governmental Organization alleging that there was resurgence of Boko Haram terrorists activities even when the facts on the ground speaks otherwise.
“This is in addition to other writings by hosts of self-acclaimed champions of the masses that go by various appellations on the Social Media making spurious and unfounded allegations against the military.
“The most unfortunate of these campaigns of calumny was a recent publication titled “Nigerians blame the NAF for failures in war against insurgents” on some online publication news outlet.
“The Services in conjunction with other security agencies have been doing the nation proud, sometimes at the expense of our dear lives. We will remain focused and resolute in serving our country.
“It is imperative to note that the Nigerian Air Force is the backbone of the fight against terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria.
“The Nigerian Air Force has also been lifting logistics for the Nigerian Army and also supported in casualty evacuation and guiding troops during operations in addition to the provision of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and humanitarian activities, amongst others.
“It is therefore most unkind and uncharitable for anybody to accuse any Service of any perceived or imagined lapses and attributing same to causing failure in the war against terrorists.
“Such unguarded utterances and malicious allegations by individuals and reports by Non-Governmental Organizations are false, ill-timed and deplorable.
“Troops of the Nigerian Armed Forces should rather be commended for their selfless service which includes paying the supreme price.
“The Nigerian Army fully appreciates the significant roles of the Nigerian Air Force in the North East and elsewhere across our country.