- The Nigerian military says it is not serving any tribal interest in Taraba and Benue states
- A recent media report had suggested the military was taking sides in the communal clashes between the Junkuns and the Tivs
- A statement signed by military authorities on Monday, April 13 described the report as an unpatriotic act
The Nigerian military says media reports suggesting that troops operating at the boundary between Taraba and Benue states are taking sides is false.
Some media reports had suggested that the troops are preventing Tivs from returning to their homes.
There have been communal clashes between Tivs and Junkuns in the borders of both states in recent times.
Some Nigerian troops are stationed in the area to maintain peace.
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A statement signed by the coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major-General John Enenche, on Monday, April 13 described the reports as an unpatriotic act.
Part of the statement read: “This unpatriotic comment from some individuals are coming after troops of Operation Whirl Stroke and the internal security outfits of both Taraba and Benue states, have stabilised the security situation in the general area of conflict between the two tribes.
“It is necessary to remind Nigerians that its military is a force that serves the interest of all Nigerians equally as guided by relevant laws.
“Additionally, the Armed Forces of Nigeria is made up of professionals with adequate training on internal security issues and conflict management.
“Therefore, The high command of the Nigerian military debunks this fallacy of preventing the Tivs from returning home after the crisis.”
Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has dismissed videos currently circulating on social media of soldiers torturing civilians.
Those who circulated the videos had suggested that the civilians were being punished for violating the recent presidential directive to stay at home over the coronavirus pandemic.
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The DHQ in a statement sent to journalists said the move is a calculated attempt to blackmail the military.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Yusuf Tukur Buratai has vowed that he will not leave the theatre of Operation Lafiya Dole until Boko Haram insurgents are finally defeated.
The Chief of Army Staff who had a special Easter celebration with the troops on Monday, April 13 regretted that the insurgency has lasted for too long but gave assurances that in no time the terrorists will be completely flushed out.
“We will not leave this insurgency to last like in other countries who have fought an insurgency for close to 50 years. We cannot allow that to happen here,” Buratai said.
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