It is glaring that those who are determined to denigrate the office and person of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Nigerian Army (NA) are terribly bent on going to any length to arm twist or trivialize whatever he does or says in the course of official engagements.
Thus, little wonder when my attention was drawn to a mischievous publication gyrating in the social media outlets ascribing bogus and bunkum statements allegedly coming from the NA Chief, Lt Gen TY Buratai during his meeting with his Principal Staff Officers, General Officers Commanding, Commanders and Directors at the Army Headquarters Conference Room Abuja on Wednesday the 20th of February 2019.
The major allegation in the publication is that – ‘there is disquiet within the top echelon of the army following an emergency meeting summoned by COAS to appeal to senior army officers to work towards the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari for the 23 February 2019 Presidential election’.
For the fact that there is possibility of some to believe this baseless allegation, the NA wouldn’t have to join issues with politically interested cyber warfare blackmailers. Therefore, on the basis of this claim, the need to provide an explanation becomes imperative.
For the record, it was true, as was widely covered and reported by the media, that the COAS had a meeting with Principal Staff Officers, General Officers Commanding, Directors and selected field commanders on the 20th of February 2019 where he clearly directed them to adopt a proactive and decisive posture that will ensure creation of a conducive environment for the peaceful conduct of 2019 Elections.
He ordered them and indeed all NA personnel to avoid fraternizing with politicians and decisively deal with criminal acts such as electoral thuggery, snatching of ballot boxes, illegal possession of elections materials and other crimes that are intended to mar the election and create an avenue for post election violence in Nigeria. All he said was contained in his address to the officers, was equally recorded and broadcasted by the trio of print, broadcast and social media platforms and is therefore laughable and disingenuous for one to twist his directives to – or – for mere political opportunism.
This claim is coming at a time when the NA in collaboration with other security agencies are working hard to ensure a secure, transparent and credible 2019 General Elections in Nigeria is therefore quite worrisome.
Reasonable members of the public are hereby requested to disregard the false publication please.
5. You are requested to disseminate this information to the general public please.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Acting Director Army Public Relations
26th February 2019