Following the recent outburst of Sheik Ahmed Gumi that armed and murderous bandits were being killed by non-Muslim soldiers and the outrage it elicited, the Nigerian Army has warned the Islamic cleric and his followers not to drag its image and reputation of one of the most reliable national institutions into disrepute.
In a statement signed by the Director of Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, the Army said:”The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a viral video clip showing the renowned and respected Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, alleging that non-Muslim soldiers were responsible for the attacks against bandits.
“SheikhAhmed Gumi and other opinion merchants are please enjoined to exercise restraint not to drag the image and reputation of one of the most reliable national institutions to disrepute.
“The Nigerian Army remains the pride of the nation and has continually defended the territorial integrity of this great nation.
“Comments suggesting to mudsling the image and reputation of the Nigerian Army are not only inimical but tend towards creating bad blood among Nigerians.
“The Nigerian Army wishes to seize this opportunity to advise opinion leaders to be more courteous while expressing their views , taking into cognisance the imperative for national security, particularly at this difficult times when our gallant troops have redoubled their efforts to tackle the myriads of security challenges facing our dear nation.
“While the Nigerian Army would not want to join issues with the respected Sheik Ahmed Gumi, it is however important to restate that the Nigerian Army as national institution does not deploy its troops along ethnic or religious lines.
“Therefore Sheikh Ahmed Gumi and other opinion merchants are please enjoined to exercise restraint not to drag the image and reputation of one of the most reliable national institutions to disrepute.”
“Furthermore, most operations conducted by the Nigerian Army were done in strict adherence to rules of engagement, code of conduct and respect for the fundamental human rights of the citizenry without any exception.
I”t is therefore, disturbing that an opinion leader would deliberately want to disparage the Nigeria Army to portray it in bad light.
“What our troops need now is public support to discharge their responsibility effectively and in the most professional manner.”