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Group slams anti-Buratai campaigner over missing ex-Army officer

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By Gabriel Olawale

THE Coalition of Civil Society Groups against Terrorism in Nigeria has asked Nigerians to disregard what it called the subversive activities and campaign of calumny against the leadership of the Nigerian Army.

The group faulted critics for insinuating that that the authorities of the  Nigerian Army have not shown concern about the disappearance of Major General IM Alkali (retd).

The coalition particularly faulted the President and founder of Citizens United for Peace and Stability, CUPS, Dr. Idris Ahmed for accusing the Army authority  of complicit in Alkali’s disappearance.

Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai / AFP

In a statement by its Convener, Comrade Odeyemi Oladimeji, the Coalition said:  “To start with, Dr.  Idris Ahmed is not new to controversies and we wish to remind Nigerians that our group, had on several occasions, raised concerns about the activities of Dr. Idris and his organization, CUPS, which have at several occasions, engaged themselves in activities and utterances, that seek to blackmail Nigeria’s service chiefs and tacitly embolden the Boko Haram insurgents, in the country.”

The group said it is forced, out of patriotic commitment, to inform the public that while “we share the pains of the family of the missing Major General Alkali, as it is difficult to quantify how agonising it is, for the nation to lose one of its finest officers who has contributed 35 years of meritorious service, to his fatherland.”

The coalition said it was aware, that immediately the news of the disappearance of the Army officer broke, the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai “commissioned a task force comprising of Senior Army personnel in collaboration with other agencies, such as the Fire Service, NEMA and others to intensify the search for the missing retired senior officer and make sure the mystery surrounding his disappearance is unraveled.”

It stated that: “While we believe that the Army leadership will in no distant time unravel the mystery of the disappearance of Major General Alkali, we wish to restate our earlier position that the campaign of calumny being driven by Dr. Idris Ahmed, is part of a larger scheme by some unpatriotic elements, to continue their series of a well funded and orchestrated campaign of calumny against the leadership of the Nigerian Army and the Chief of Army Staff, General Buratai, who we believe, is the main target of the orchestrated campaign of calumny.”

The group said its repeated findings revealed that the activities of Dr. Idris Ahmed, confirmed that “there is an agenda to discredit the Chief of Army Staff and the Nigerian Army leadership through frivolous and fictitious accusations such as this campaign of calumny and unsolicited solidarity, which Dr Idris Ahmed is currently using the unfortunate disappearance of the retired senior army officer to drive.”

The group called on Nigerians, to disregard the efforts, by those it described as “fifth columnist, whose major aim, is not to only assassinate the character of the Chief of Army Staff, but are also out, to demoralize Nigerian troops, particularly the Army, thereby exposing Nigerians, Nigeria and her territorial integrity, for further attacks by the decimated but now very desperate terrorist groups, which is the ultimate end goal of their campaign.”

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