Published March 9, 2021
Adelani Adepegba , Abuja
The Nigerian Army has cautioned Islamic scholar , Sheikh Ahmed Gumi , against making divisive and disparaging utterances against the military institutions .
It stated that the army did not deploy its troops along ethnic or religious lines as stated by the cleric during his interaction with bandits .
The army spokesman, Brig . Gen . Mohammed Yerima, mentioned this in a statement in reaction to a video in which Gumi accused non- Muslim soldiers of attacking the bandits .
In the clip, the islamic scholar was seen telling the bandits that soldiers are divided into Muslims and non -Muslims .
But Yerima in his statement on Monday titled , ‘Nigerian Army does not deploy its troops along ethnic or religious lines , ’ admonished the cleric and other “ opinion merchants ” to exercise restraint and not drag the image and reputation of “ one of the most reliable national institutions to disrepute .”
It stated , “ While the Nigerian Army would not want to join issues with the respected Sheik Ahmed Gumi, it is important to restate that the Nigerian Army as a national institution does not deploy its troops along ethnic or religious lines .
“ Therefore, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi and other opinion merchants are pleased 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 mudslinging the image and reputation of the Nigerian Army are not only inimical but tended towards creating bad blood amongst Nigerians . ”
Yerima said 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 . Yerima advised opinion leaders to be more courteous while expressing their views , taking into cognisance the imperatives of national security, “ particularly at this difficult times when our gallant troops have redoubled their efforts to tackle the myriads of security challenges facing our dear nation .”