The Nigerian Army has dissociated itself from a proposed solidarity rally being organised by some civil groups to celebrate the “successes” being achieved over Boko Haram in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations in the Northeastern part of the country.
The Army was reacting to the recent disclosure by a group – North East Coalition Against Terrorism – that it had concluded plans to hold a solidarity march in support of the soldiers in the battlefront.
The National Coordinator of the group, Yusuf Mshelizza, had written a letter, dated Wednesday, April 20, 2016, to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief of Army Staff, stating their resolve to hold a solidarity march in appreciation to the government and the Nigerian Army for returning peace to North Eastern States.
“We will forever appreciate the Nigerian Army; we lost almost everything including our homes, properties and lives due to the incessant killings and destruction of properties by Boko Haram insurgents in the last few years”, Mr. Mshelizza said.
But the Army said while the motive behind the planned solidarity march could be borne out of sheer patriotism, it could also be dangerous as it is capable of distracting the soldiers and the Army authority.
The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, said in a statement Thursday that the public should rather remain more vigilant at this crucial stage of the battle.
His statement reads:“The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a number of groups and individuals celebrating the routing out and decimation of Boko Haram terrorists on our soil. So much as we thank them for that, it is imperative to state that we do not begrudge such persons (and) their desire to identify and associate themselves with this success.
“However, the Nigerian Army wishes to disassociate itself from such celebrations and solidarity rallies.
“We also would like to advice that they should tread with caution as this could be distractive to us. The public are please informed that the terrorists are surreptitiously fanning out of their last enclaves in Sambisa to cause havoc or seek refuge elsewhere.
“Therefore, there is need for all to be more vigilant and security conscious to enable us clear the remnants of these terrorists wherever they might flee.
“We would like to reassure the public that we will remain professional and focused in clearing the remnants of these criminals on the Nigerian soil”.