The statement issued by the Secretary General of Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI), Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu alleging extra-judicial killing of Muslims and people of Fulani ethnic group by the Nigerian military has been described as spurious and inflammatory.
Due to a need to set the records straight, the Defence Headquarters has released a statement, saying the Nigerian military remains non-partisan, non-sectarian and will continue to be the symbol of patriotism and a unifying factor in the face of threats to national sovereignty.
According to Major Gen. Chris Olukolade, who signed the statement dated Tuesday, April 8, 2014 such allegations cannot succeed in brewing disharmony within the military, as it does not operate along religious or ethnic lines.
Olukolade urged the JNI not to join in the fray of propagandists bent on discrediting genuine efforts at finding solutions to the nation’s security challenges, saying it was unfortunate that the unjust imputation is coming from respectable and responsible organisation like JNI.
The statement reiterates that the military will continue to be driven by patriotism and commitment to the cause of the nation and its law abiding citizens. All responsible organisations are requested to cooperate in the efforts at addressing the nation’s security challenges rather than compound the problem.
Individuals with similar prejudices are advised to abandon such biases as the challenges at hand calls for prayers and support of all well-meaning organisations and groups instead of trying to turn the public against the military. Rather, all responsible organisations should be more interested in seeking solutions to the nation’s security challenges.
It must be noted that the Armed Forces comprises Nigerians from all religious persuasions and cannot be used against any particular religion as purported. The military will not be distracted by unfair imputations from any quarter.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Nigerian military and other security agencies do not have any policy, agenda or plans to perpetrate massacre or extra judicial killing of law abiding citizens. The authorities have no reason to take side or shield anyone from justice. Individuals apprehended in the course of counter-terrorism campaign will continue to have access to justice as provided by law, the statement reads.