The Nigerian Army has cautioned a renowned Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmed Gumi, not to portray the Nigerian Army’s image in bad light or drag its image and reputation to disrepute.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima. He described the army as one of the most reliable national institutions.
Yerima’s call follows Sheikh Ahmed Gumi’s recent comments that non-Muslim soldiers were killing armed and murderous bandits.
The statement reads thus: “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a viral video clip showing the renowned and respected Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, alleging that non-Muslim soldiers were responsible for the attacks against bandits.
“Sheikh Ahmed Gumi and other opinion merchants are please urged to exercise restraint not to drag the image and reputation of one of the most reliable national institutions to disrepute.
“The Nigerian Army remains the pride of the nation and has continually defended the territorial integrity of this great nation.
“Comments suggesting to mudslide the image and reputation of the Nigerian Army are not only inimical but tended towards creating lousy blood among Nigerians.
“The Nigerian Army wishes to seize this opportunity to advise opinion leaders to be more courteous while expressing their views, taking into cognisance the imperative for national security, particularly at this challenging times when our gallant troops have redoubled their efforts to tackle the myriads of security challenges facing our dear nation.
“While the Nigerian Army would not want to join issues with the respected Sheik Ahmed Gumi, it is, however, important to restate that the Nigerian Army as a national institution does not deploy its troops along ethnic or religious lines.
“Therefore SheikhAhmed Gumi and other opinion merchants are please enjoined to exercise restraint not to drag the image and reputation of one of the most reliable national institutions to disrepute.”
“The Nigerian Army remains the pride of the nation and has continually defended the territorial integrity of this great nation. Comments suggesting to mudslide the image and reputation of the Nigerian Army are not only inimical but tended towards creating bad blood amongst Nigerians.
“Furthermore, most operations conducted by the Nigerian Army were done in strict adherence to rules of engagement, code of conduct and respect for the fundamental human rights of the citizenry without any exception.
“It is, therefore, disturbing that an opinion leader would deliberately want to disparage the Nigeria Army to portray it in a bad light.
“What our troops need now islamic support to discharge their responsibility effectively and in the most professional manner.”