The Nigerian Army NA has described the allegation that its General Officer Commanding 82 Division is aiding and abetting the activities of jihadist Fulani herdsmen and kidnappers in the South Eastern part of the country, as propaganda by a “well-known fifth columnists”.
The reply is contained in a press release with the title: “INTERSOCIETY IPOB/ESN PROPAGANDIST’’ and signed Wednesday by Acting Deputy Director, 82 Division Army Public Relations, Jonah Unuakhalu.
“A look at the write up shows a business-as-usual pattern of propaganda by the well-known fifth columnists, who have severally failed in such endeavours. Despite the serial failures, these groups are still unrepentant and shamelessly continue in mudslinging, all in a futile effort to drag the image and reputation of the division in the mud, while promoting irredentists, lawless and outlawed organizations.
“In the said publication, it claimed that Ex GOLDEN DAWN II has gone deaf and dumb. However, on the contrary, Ex GOLDEN DAWN II AND STILL WATERS II has achieved many successes since its commencement in terms of recovery of arms, ammunition, IED materials and fabrication workshop which was published by both mainstream and online medium on Thursday 10 November 2022. The Exercise has also halted the activities of the proscribed group, little wonder INTERSOCIETY has to come up with all this fabricated lies with no sense of balance reportage.
“It was also reported in a trending Facebook and twitter post that the General Officer Commanding 82 Division was posted from Kaduna to Enugu, this is just a figment of the writers imagination as the General Officer Commanding was posted from 81 Division Lagos and has at no time been in Kaduna.
“The Army does not operate based on ethnicity and tribal sentiments, it is a professional Army that has sworn to uphold the integrity and sanctity of our dear nation. However, the writer or author of the trending internet publication failed to give evidence to prove the allegations against the General Officer Commanding which makes it a mere propaganda aimed at dampling the morale of troops on successes achieved so far and to further create panic in the South East region’’ the Army declared.
The statement which recalled that 82 Division recently carried out a medical outreach in the home town of Nnamdi Kanu in Afarakwu, Umuahia Abia State, stated that it guessed the so called INTERSOCIETY was not aware of it.
The statement added: ‘’It’s quite unfortunate that a civil society that is meant to protect the sanctity of the public could be used by the proscribed group for propaganda and misinforming the general public with unfounded and biased narratives. It is also important to note, that Enugu state is one of the most peaceful states in the South East so it is surprising that all these allegations are targeted at Enugu which is a direct pointer to creating fear among the populace.
“It is on this premise that the 82 Division Nigerian Army wishes to dismiss this evil propaganda being peddled in the said publication and served to unsuspecting members of the public by INTERSOCIETY. It is obvious that INTERSOCIETY is bent on furthering the activities and aim of IPOB/ESN, with the singular purpose of destabilizing our nation.
“It is pertinent to note, that the Division conducts its operations within the ambit of the law and in consonant with the global best practices in regards to the Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct guiding all its operations”.
The Division, stressed that for avoidance of doubt, restates that it remains a professional institution saddled with the responsibility to protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria, adding that it will never be distracted by mischief makers, who find pleasure in blackmailing the institution in order to satisfy the interest of fifth columnists, in their unrelenting effort to destabilize the nation.
Unuakhalu The Division will continue to count on the support of the general public, as it continues to carry out its constitutional mandate to defend and restore sanity and peace in all troubled parts of the South East region.