By Dirisu Yakubu – Abuja
In a statement issued in Abuja, the nation’s capital, the foremost Nigerian anti-corruption group, said Prof. Zulum’s condemnation of the extortion was a show of moral high ground.
HEDA commended the academic-turned politician for what it described as an act of responsibility and leadership quality, nothing that the action of the governor suggests great future expectations for him in the national campaign against corruption.
It also commended the Nigerian Army for pledging to probe allegations of extortion by some of its operatives in a bid to stem the ugly practice.
HEDA said its own findings from volunteers in the North East has confirmed the position of the governor, adding that the Nigerian Army owes Nigerians the debt of making public its findings.
Zulum, it would be recalled, was on his way to Jakana when his convoy observed a traffic gridlock allegedly fueled by soldiers and policemen attached to Operation Lafiya Dole said to be extorting cash from motorists.
“We view this incidence with deep concern. When soldiers posted to protect the people begin to take bribe from the same people they are meant to protect, the implication is that such an armed institution will lose public confidence which will lead to loss of public support.
When local cooperation is lost, there is no way the army can win the battle against terrorism”, the statement signed by HEDA Chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju stated.
“We are monitoring the probe. We want to see the outcome of the probe. HEDA volunteers in the North East have also been asked to monitor the activities of soldiers on the highways to see if extortion remains a pattern. If there are cases of further extortion, HEDA will surely pass on the information to the appropriate authorities.”