The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has stated that Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State is wrong for accusing the Nigerian Army of extorting travellers at checkpoints in the North-eastern state.
Recall that Governor Zulum had lambasted the Nigerian Military over the abduction of 35 travelers along the Maiduguri-Damaturu expressway in the state.
During a visit to Jakana on Monday, Zulum expressed disappointment that security operatives cannot secure a distance of 20 kilometres.
He said a majority of the attacks within the last two years happened between Auno and Jakana, a distance of about 20 kilometres.
Reacting in a statement the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, stated that the governor was wrong to tag soldiers extortioners.
“The attention of the Nigerian Military has been drawn to the media/air accusation by the Executive Governor of Borno State, that Nigerian Army personnel deployed at check points in Operation LAFIYA DOLE collects money from commuters,” the statement read.
“While the Nigerian Military is in no way joining issues with the Governor, it is necessary to clarify this generalised statement against the troops who without hesitation lay down their lives for all Nigerians.
“It is worthy of note that, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have internal mechanisms to checkmate and sanction appropriately its erring personnel. Additionally, reported cases from the public in this regard are investigated and given the desired attention.
“Thus, it will not be correct to rely on media or open-air accusation to tag our gallant Nigerian Army personnel as extortioners at checkpoints in Borno State. All personnel of the Armed Forces are patriotic and focused on their call of duty.
“The High Command of the Nigerian Military hereby re-states the commitment of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other Security Agencies to tackling and ending the insurgency and terrorism in the North East.”