Wednesday, 9 April 2014

No Religious Or Ethnic Group Is Target Of Counter-Terrorism Campaign—Nigerian Military | Sahara Reporters

 Nigeria’s Defense Headquarters has strongly denied a statement by the Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI) accusing the Nigerian military of engaging in the extra-judicial killing of Muslims and people of Fulani ethnicity. JNI’s statement was released today in Abuja, signed by the group’s secretary general, Khalid Abubakar Aliyu.

The military described the Muslim group’s allegation as spurious and inflammatory. 

In a statement issued by its spokesperson, Major General Chris Olukolade, the Defense Headquarters the military voiced its reluctance to join issues with a respectable religious organization like JNI, but added that it was imperative to set the records straight. 

The military spokesman asserted that 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. If this wild allegation was meant to cause disaffection or brew disharmony within the military, then it has woefully failed as the Nigerian military does not operate along religious or ethnic lines.”

General Olukolade added: “Contrary to the false claims, no law abiding individual, faith, ethnic group or organization is being targeted as alleged by JNI. It is unfortunate that the unjust imputation is coming from [a] respectable and responsible organization like JNI. We urge the body not to join in the fray of propagandists bent on discrediting genuine efforts at finding solutions to the nation’s security challenges.

“The military will continue to be driven by patriotism and commitment to the cause of the nation and its law abiding citizens.  All responsible organizations 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 call for prayers and support of all well-meaning organizations and groups instead of trying to turn the public against the military.  Rather, all responsible organizations 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."


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