Defence & Security

Army denies terrorising southeast, warns fifth columnists

The Nigerian Army has denied allegations by the International Society for Civil Liberty and Rule of Law (Intersociety), that it is working with herdsmen and bandits to terrorise the southeastern part of the country.

The Army in a statement on Saturday by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, described Intersociety as paid jobbers to discredit the efforts of the military in combating crime in the Southeast.

The statement accused the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of being behind the group. It warned that the Nigerian Army will not be intimidated by fifth columnists and their agents.

“A cursory look at the content reveals a business-as-usual pattern of propaganda by the well-known, paid jobbers and fifth columnists christened INTERSOCIETY, who after several failed attempts, still unrepentantly and shamelessly continues to dissipate its energy in mudslinging, all in a futile effort to drag the image and reputation of the NA in the mud, while promoting irredentists, lawless and outlawed organizations.

“Unfortunately for these mischief makers, the highly patriotic and untiring efforts of the Nigerian Army to neutrally defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Nigeria is visible enough and boldly seen by all and have received international accolades.

“It is on this unmistakable pedigree, that the NA wishes to dismiss these concoctions and evil propaganda peddled and served to unsuspecting members of the public by INTERSOCIETY, covertly sponsored by IPOB/ESN, with the singular purpose of destabilizing our dear nation.

“It is on record, that the NA conducted and will still conduct series of Exercises not only in the Southeastern states, but across all the states of the Federation, which has reasonably reduced criminality especially in the Southeast, where Intersociety’s cohorts like IPOB and ESN could no longer enjoy freedom of action to unleash death and mayhem on Ndigbo and other Nigerians, who do not support their evil bid.

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“Intersociety’s unprofessional posture is crystal clear and evident in its biased and unbalanced submissions and reportage, as it has never openly condemned the atrocious activities of IPOB/ ESN, for which it is fronting. InterSociety would rather turn a blind eye, when these groups illegally deny law abiding citizens their rights to freedom of movement and association through their illegal sit-at-home order, the attack on military, police, paramilitary personnel and other security agencies, the attack and callous beheading of Nigerians including Ndigbo, the destruction of government facilities and infrastructure, amongst myriads of other nefarious activities,” the statement said.

The Army vowed that it shall continue to checkmate the activities of criminal elements across the country, including the southeast.

“However, the NA through the conduct of Exercises such as PYTHON DANCE, GOLDEN DAWN, ENDURING PEACE AND STILL WATERS have effectively checkmated and drastically reduced their criminal activities and other sundry crimes in Southeastern Nigeria, while alongside the exercises, fostering excellent Civil-Military Relations through series of Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities heralding the conduct of these exercises.

“The recently concluded Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) 2022 held in Owerri, Imo state saw the Nigerian Army bringing succour to the South Easterners through organized medical outreaches, renovation of schools, sinking of boreholes and road repairs. These are totally in dissonance with the image being concocted of the NA by the glorified Civil Society Organization (Intersociety) and their collaborators.

“The Nigerian Army, therefore, remains a professional institution that is resolved to protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria and will never be distracted by mischief makers, who find pleasure in blackmailing and defaming the institution to gain cheap publicity and satisfy the interest of fifth columnists, in their unrelenting effort to destabilize the nation.

“The Nigerian Army is not by this reaction denying the presence of black sheep in its fold, just like in any other organization or institution. This, the Army is very mindful of and actively monitoring and effectively handling within the provisions of extant laws.

“We call on INTERSOCIETY to channel its energy like the Nigerian Army into nation building, rather than tearing our nation apart. Nigeria remains our nation and no other.

“The Nigerian Army will continue to count on the support of all Nigerians and the international community, as it selflessly continues to carry out its constitutional mandate to defend Nigeria and restore sanity and peace in all troubled parts of the country,” the statement added.

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