By Kingsley Omonobi & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—THE Nigerian Army, yesterday, set up a panel of inquiry to probe allegations by some Nigerians that its personnel were colluding with herdsmen in the killing of natives in Taraba and Benue states.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt.General Tukur Buratai, who inaugurated the committee at the Army Headquarters, Abuja, said the army under him was visibly disturbed at the allegations, especially coming from respected senior citizens of the country.
Buratai charged the committee, headed by Major-General Joseph Nimmyel (retd) to go all out to unravel all circumstances leading to the allegations, vowing that personnel of the service found to have compromised in their services to the country would not be spared.
The inauguration of the panel came barely three weeks after Danjuma, a former Chief of Army Staff, raised the alarm that an ethnic cleansing was being executed in the country, especially Benue and Taraba states, by militias in connivance with men of the Nigerian Armed Forces, asking the people to rise and defend themselves.
Buratai explained: “The Nigerian Army has over the years conducted operations in line with its constitutional responsibility of defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria and providing aid to civil authority whenever it is called upon for such a task.
“However, the actions of the Nigerian Army in recent military operations, particularly in Taraba State, have been criticized by individuals and interest groups from different sectors of the society.
“Some of these concerns have come from the state government, Non-Governmental Organisations and very senior citizens from the state.
Speaking on behalf of the committee members, chairman of the committee, Major General Joseph Nimmyel (retd), assured the COAS of the readiness of the committee to deliver on their mandate and terms of reference.
The committee was given up to April 19 to submit its report.