Ex-Rep Member Slams Minimah Over Troops Protection For Sheriff

Ali-Modu-SheriffThe Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Kenneth Minimah should explain to Nigerians the rationale behind the mass deployment of soldiers to protect the former Borno State Governor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, while the incumbent, Governor Kashim Shettima was stripped of soldiers’ protection.

A former member of the House of Representatives, Dr Haruna Yerima, who challenged the army chief in an interview with Daily Trust on Monday, said the incident is “an insult to the people of Borno and North East states ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency”.

He said: “it is very unusual for the Army to deploy elaborate security, headed by a colonel, to protect an individual at the expense of other citizens”.

According to Yerima, the Army needs to provide an explanation as to why it withdrew soldiers giving protection to a constitutionally-elected governor.

“The Army chief should explain to Nigerians why he deployed an unprecedented level of security to an individual without any constitutional responsibility whenever he comes to Borno”, Yerima said.

Yerima, who is also a former lecturer at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna, said he is “pained on how the military has been reduced to the level of protecting individuals instead of the country’s territorial sovereignty”.

He coninued: “Having taught soldiers, I know the rigours they go through and how patriotic they are. It is therefore ridiculous to reduce the exalted status of a colonel into providing security cover to an individual without any constitutional role. This is very sad.”

“I respect the military as an institution but I am sad that the military has been reduced to an insignificant level of providing private protection to individuals.

“If the massive security is being provided to Sheriff because he is an ex-governor, then what happens to former Governor Muhammed Goni who still drives from Abuja to Maiduguri without even a police escort? What happens to former Governor Maina Ma’aji Lawan?” he said.