Nige­ri­ans have lost con­fi­dence in the mil­i­tary, monarch tells army panel

The Punch - - FRONT PAGE - Justin Ty­op­u­usu, Jalingo

The Aku Uka of Wukari and chair­man of the Taraba State Coun­cil of Chiefs, Dr Sheka­rau Masa Ibi (Ku­vyo II), on Mon­day said Nige­ri­ans had lost con­fi­dence in the mil­i­tary.

The monarch made the com­ment when he re­ceived the Army Probe Panel in­ves­ti­gat­ing the al­le­ga­tions of mil­i­tary col­lu­sion with armed ban­dits in the at­tacks on res­i­dents of Taraba and other parts of the coun­try.

Gen. Theophilus Dan­juma had re­cently ac­cused the Armed Forces of col­lud­ing with ban­dits to kill Nige­ri­ans and urged the peo­ple to de­fend them­selves.

Aku Uka, who thanked the mil­i­tary lead­er­ship for set­ting up the panel, said, “It is a known fact that the cit­i­zens of Nige­ria have lost con­fi­dence in the mil­i­tary, in spite of their track record of suc­cess­ful peace mis­sions in other parts of the world.

“I want to re­mind you mem­bers of the panel that Nige­ri­ans who are cry­ing for jus­tice are ex­pect­ing much from you, so also the armed forces who are look­ing up to your re­port to help them to re­store our cit­i­zens con­fi­dence in the Nige­ria mil­i­tary.

“As an um­pire, Nige­ri­ans ex­pect you to be just and fair in your as­sign­ment, and only a fair, just and trans­par­ent re­port of your panel can re­store the lost im­age of the mil­i­tary.”

Pre­sent­ing the po­si­tion of the Wukari Tra­di­tional Coun­cil be­fore the panel, the Ad­viser to the Aku Uka on Me­dia and Le­gal Af­fairs, Dan­juma Adamu, said the high ex­pec­ta­tions of the peo­ple of the area af­ter the de­ploy­ment of sol­diers for the ex­er­cise Ayem Ak­pa­tuma were not met as the at­tacks and killings con­tin­ued.

Dan­juma, who cited sev­eral cases of al­leged mil­i­tary col­lu­sion, noted that on sev­eral oc­ca­sions the sol­diers de­ployed in the area re­fused to de­fend the farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties de­spite pleas by the coun­cil chair­man and the tra­di­tional coun­cil, giv­ing cre­dence to the in­sin­u­a­tions that they were tak­ing sides with the killer herds­men.

he said that on Oc­to­ber 19, 2015, Fu­lani mili­tia at­tacked Sondi in the Kente district and killed 30 peo­ple, adding that res­i­dents of the vil­lage ac­cused sol­diers in the area of aid­ing the at­tack­ers.

“On 10th April, 2018, Gbeji was at­tacked and five peo­ple were killed. On the same day Son­tyo vil­lage was at­tacked and de­stroyed by herds­men who took over the vil­lage and their cows are graz­ing there as their per­ma­nent abode.

“The fol­low­ing day 11th April, 2018, the mili­tia at­tacked Jan­deikyula vil­lage killing over 25 peo­ple. The sol­diers and po­lice­men at­tempted to con­front them but the mili­tia es­caped with­out a sin­gle at­tacker ar­rested.

“On the whole, 200 peo­ple have been killed from April 2013 till date, 401 vil­lages de­stroyed, thou­sands wounded or maimed and farm­lands de­stroyed,” he sub­mit­ted.

While al­leg­ing that the at­tacks and killings were meant to wipe out the indige­nous oc­cu­pants of the area to pave the way for a full Fu­lani oc­cu­pa­tion, the Wukari tra­di­tional coun­cil ap­pealed to the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to pay a se­ri­ous at­ten­tion to the cri­sis.

The Chair­man of the Wukari Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Coun­cil, Daniel Adi, in his sub­mis­sion, also al­leged the com­plic­ity of the mil­i­tary in the killings in the area. he urged the panel to check with the Po­lice Area Com­mand in Wukari for some of the case files show­ing mil­i­tary per­son­nel aid­ing the move­ments of the at­tack­ers.

ear­lier, the Chair­man of the Probe Panel, Maj. Gen. Joseph Nimyel (retd.) sym­pa­thised with the Aku Uka over the loss of lives and de­struc­tion of prop­erty as a re­sult of the cri­sis in the area.

he in­formed the monarch that they were in the state to in­ves­ti­gate al­le­ga­tions of col­lu­sion lev­elled against the mil­i­tary by Dan­juma.

Nimyel said the panel would send its find­ings to the Army head­quar­ters in Abuja, the Taraba State Gov­ern­ment and the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment with a view to help­ing the au­thor­i­ties in their fu­ture deal­ings.

• Bu­ratai

•L-R: Grand Pa­tron, So­ci­ety of Women Ac­coun­tants of Nige­ria, Mrs. El­iz­a­beth Ade­gite; Med­i­cal Di­rec­tor, Gba­gada Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, La­gos, Dr. Tayo Lawal; Chair­per­son, SWAN, Mrs. Fo­lake On­abolu; and Grand Pa­tron, SWAN, Mrs. lbironke Osiyemi, dur­ing the...

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.