from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE Nigerian Army has alleged a smear campaign on social media against some of its senior commanders and officers in the wake of disputed general elections.
It nonetheless pledged its officers would remain neutral, following what appeared to be speculation of ethnic differences within its ranks.
The army stated the alleged smear campaign was the handiwork of ill-intentioned groups that aimed to violently interfere with the Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 25, where the uniformed forces adopted a neutral stance.
“However, some interest groups that were effectively prevented from hatching their nefarious plots to influence the course of the elections through violence are understandably piqued by this assertiveness of the Nigerian Army,” Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, Director of Army Public Relations, stated.
He added that the Nigerian Army is nationalistic in its make-up and organization, insisting it draws strengths from the diversities of the nation.
“The resort to the sentiments of ethnic and religious colourations would not also diminish the Nigerian’s Army resolve to carry on its roles professionally.”
Nwachukwu said in the upcoming state elections set for this coming weekend, the army was committed to support to primary law enforcement and stakeholders towards ensuring that Nigerians are allowed to choose their leaders and representatives in a peaceful manner.
“This goal remains our only focus and one we would continue to pursue, mindful that the average citizen expects nothing less from his Army,” Nwachukwu said.
However, the Army Headquarters assured the public that any misconduct against any of its personnel would be investigated and disciplinary action taken.
Ahead of elections, there were reports some army commanders and officers had aligned themselves with particular presidential candidates.
Africa’s biggest nation, 219 million people, is fractured after a contentious election that opposition candidates have rejected.
Bola Tinubu was announced the president-elect to succeed Muhammadu Buhari, in power since 2015.
– CAJ News