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Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Fulani Herdsmen Killings: FG Backtracks, Confirms Danjuma's Heavy Allegation Against Military

Fulani Herdsmen Killings: FG Backtracks, Confirms Danjuma's Heavy Allegation Against Military

T. Y Danjuma

The Federal Government has backtracked in a statement credited to the Ministry of Defence on Monday that it had received reports from Nigerians on the misconduct of soldiers as regards the farmers and herdsmen’s clashes and had put such soldiers through “disciplinary procedures,” report according to Punch Newspaper suggests

The ministry said it, however, had yet to receive any report from Taraba State, adding that its doors were open to complaints from Nigerians on the activities of the troops.

Col. Tukur Gusau, the spokesperson for the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, stated this in an interview with our correspondent on Monday, noting that the government could not work with “general comments or allegations, if no specific report was made to the military authorities.”

A former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd), had on Saturday at the maiden convocation of the Taraba State University, told Nigerians to defend themselves against killers, saying the Nigerian Armed Forces were not ready to defend them.

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He had said, “There is an attempt at ethnic cleansing in the state (Taraba) and of course, some rural states in Nigeria, we must resist it. We must stop it. Everyone of us must rise up. Our armed forces are not neutral. They collude with the bandits to kill people, kill Nigerians… If you are depending on the armed forces to stop the killings, you will all die one by one.”

The defence ministry in a release on Sunday said  Danjuma’s comment was “highly uncalled for,” and asked Nigerians to report any member of the armed forces, suspected to be colluding with herdsmen.

On Monday, the defence minister’s Public Relations Officer, Gusau, said that some soldiers had undergone “disciplinary procedures” after complaints received from Nigerians, Punch Newspaper reports

Gusau said, “We have the Human Rights violation desk in all the formations of the Nigerian Army and a similar channel in the other arms of the military. Nigerians can also come directly to the Ministry of Defence. They can go to the Nigerian Army headquarters. Our doors are always open.

“If a soldier on duty has done something you feel is inappropriate, you have a duty to report that soldier. The office of the defence minister is open to everyone.

“The era where civilians are afraid of military actions is gone. Yes, we have been having such reports about the misconduct of soldiers in the theatre of operation.

Nigerians have been coming to report incidents and we have been taking care of them. There have been disciplinary procedures. Soldiers have been put through disciplinary procedures.

“We have not received anything yet from Taraba State. We need to work on specific things. To my knowledge, we didn’t receive anything in respect of our operations in Taraba State.”

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