By Linus Aleke
The Nigerian Army has denied involvement in the alleged harassment and shooting at motorists within Ibadan metropolis as contained in a twit trending online, insisting that the report is false and misleading.
Deputy Director Army Public Relations, 2 Division Nigerian Army Colonel Hassan Mohammed who denied Nigerian Army involvement in the unfortunate episode, heaped the blame on the doorsteps of Nigerian Air Force, adding that the woodland camouflage uniform is not only used by the Nigerian Army but by other services of the armed forces.
He said, “The attention of, 2 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to an online publication by twitter. com/Gokentetsu/status platforms alleging that soldiers in Ibadan harassed and shot at motorists for about 4 hours on 9 November 2018 at Iwo Road general area, within Ibadan Metropolis.
“The report is false, misleading and an attempt to blackmail the Nigerian Army. It is imperative to state that soldiers of the Nigerian Army are well trained and guided by ethics of the military profession. Personnel of the Nigerian Army cannot, therefore, behave in the manner described by the reporter in the above-mentioned platform.
“The general public is please requested to note that the woodland camouflage uniform is not only used by the Nigerian Army but by other services of the armed forces. It should be noted that at about 1:40 pm (1340hours) on 9 November 2018, a fracas ensued between personnel of the Nigerian Airforce dressed in woodland camouflage uniform and a member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (Micra Taxi Driver) at Iwo Road, Ibadan.
“It was alleged that a Micra Taxi Driver and unarmed Airman, who was an escort to an Airforce Bus conveying pupils of the Nigerian Airforce Primary School, Ibadan were engaged in an argument following a minor accident.
“Unfortunately, other Micra Taxi drivers supported their colleague and joined hands to molest the unarmed Airforce escort, the driver of the bus and the pupils. Consequently, the unarmed escort sent words to Headquarters Nigerian Airforce Detachment, Ibadan who mobilized her personnel to the scene to calm the situation”.
Colonel Mohammed further explained that four Micra Taxi drivers suspected to have taken part in fuelling the crisis were arrested by the personnel of Nigerian Airforce Detachment, Ibadan, adding that the arrested Micra Taxi drivers are presently in custody of the Nigerian Airforce Detachment, Ibadan for preliminary investigation.
He however, advised the general public to disregard the online publication as it is misleading; baseless, frivolous and a mere attempt to blackmail the Nigerian Army.
The spokesperson concluded that the Nigerian Army remains a professional force conscious of its responsibilities to the Nigerian people.
In a related development, Acting Command Public Relations Officer, Headquarters Logistics Command, Nigerian Air Force, Squadron Leader Chidinma Ojukwu said that the circulating story is inaccurate.
His words, “The attention of the Logistics Command of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to an online publication alleging that soldiers (NAF airmen) were harassing and shooting motorists around the Iwo Road area of Ibadan on Friday 9 November 2018. A preliminary investigation has therefore been conducted into the incident and it was evident that the account as reported was not accurate but rather misleading. The Logistics Command has set up a panel of inquiry into the incident”.
Squadron Leader Ojukwu assured the Public that the Nigerian Air Force, being a highly professional and disciplined force, will not tolerate any acts of indiscipline that violate the rights of any Nigerian from any of its personnel or cover up any erring ones.
He reiterated that any NAF personnel found wanting or culpable of any offense after full investigation shall be punished in accordance with the law of the land and in the reflection of the NAF’s commitment to professionalism and responsibility to the Nigerian people.
He, however, promised that the public will be kept informed on the outcome of the investigations.