By Victor Akaa, Abuja.
The Nigerian Army (NA), through the Directorate of Army Public Relations (DAPR), says it can neither condone nor tolerate any act of indiscipline or the willful breach of law displayed by any of its personnel no matter highly placed.
This assurance is coming in response to some allegedly depicting video clips trending on social media indicting some personnel of NA of extorting illegal toll of N1000 from motorists that ply the road.
The video also allegedly revealed that after the refusal of some transporters to comply with the NA personnel on their illegal demands, pandemonium ensued.
Reacting to the video clips, Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Mohammed Yerima in a statement relayed to Enugu Reporters noted that after critical analysis, confirmatory enquiries and valuable investigation of the said video clips, it found out that it was only but a “social media hysteria-inducing manipulations” deliberately orchestrated by the mischief makers to stain and dent the name of the revered and professional institution like the Nigerian Army.
Gen Yerima while disregarding the video assured that the NA is a professional force that operates in accordance with the rules of engagements and its constitutional mandate as well as respects the fundamental human rights of the citizenry in line with global best practices. He therefore called on the public to disregard the videos,describing it as an act of falsehood and misrepresentation of facts desperately produced to tarnish the image of NA.
“Having analyzed the video and made several confirmatory enquiries, the Directorate wishes to state that the video and message conveyed in it, just like a number of such social media hysteria-inducing manipulations, was a deliberate orchestration of falsehood and gross misrepresentation of facts produced and circulated to deliberately smear the image of the Nigerian Army.
“From our checks, there was imposition of a state wide curfew by the Edo State Government; sequel to the aftermath of the #End SARs protest. The order is yet to be reviewed due to the resurgence of the COVID 19 pandemic in Edo State. Consequent upon this, motorists park a few meters away from the check point mounted by soldiers and await the opening of the road by 0500hrs daily.
“Furthermore, the issue of the road closure has been a long time problem with night time commercial drivers who insisted that the road being a federal road is not under the jurisdiction of the government of Edo State.
“The isolated protest happened on 17 February 2021 at about 2230hrs. This situation was brought under control professionally by troops who were conscious of the rules of engagement and code of conduct for Internal Security operations.
“While the Nigerian Army recognizes the right of Nigerians to hold and share opinions especially on the social media, it should not be used to spread deliberate falsehood. A situation where deliberate misrepresentation of facts and fabrication of outright falsehood are being orchestrated in the social media to tarnish the image and reputation of the military is not and should not be acceptable.
“The Directorate therefore wishes to reassure law abiding public that the Nigerian Army remains a very professional force that respects the fundamental human rights of the citizenry in line with global best practices.
“The Army will neither condone willful breach of law and order nor tolerate indiscipline on the part of its personnel.”
The statement therefore urged the general public to discountenance the false information contained in that video.