•Defends Gen. Apere, special forces as game-changers in counter-insurgency operations
The Nigerian Army has issued a seven-day ultimatum to a United Kingdom (UK) based Dr. Idris Ahmed, to substantiate publication accusing Brig-Gen. Clement Apere and other generals of arming and conniving with Boko Haram terrorists to kill soldiers.
Army had in a statement on Friday by the Spokesman, Brig-Gen. Texas Chukwu, described the allegations as not only false but irresponsible.
Ahmed’s allegations was published on August 23, 2018, titled: “Bomb shell! How Corrupt Brigadier General Clement Apere Deliberately Sends Soldiers To Die in The Hands of Boko Haram”. He claimed that Gen. Apere of 707 Brigade Makurdi, Commander of Special Forces Brigade Headquarters and Gen. Chukwu, the Army spokesperson, as well as the new 7 Division commander always connive to set up soldiers and systematically give weapons to Boko Haram terrorists who dislodged 800 troops and killed hundreds of them.
He also alleged that 150 untrained soldiers were sent to the war front in Maiduguri were all killed and that welfare conditions of soldiers is poor with 15 of them sleeping in a room.
But the Army has insisted that the allegations are “utterly false, callous and irresponsible”.
The service also informed that soldiers have enjoyed the best welfare conditions under the leadership of the current Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai.
On Gen. Apere, Army noted that not only is the senior officer patriotic but that thr forces under his command have been game changers in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency efforts against Boko Haram as well as other troubled parts of the country.
Part of the statement read: “That his allegation that a fictitious ‘patriotic soldier at the war front in the North East’, has alleged among other things that some senior officers connived and set up soldiers and systematically give weapons to Boko Haram terrorists who dislodge 800 soldiers, killing hundreds of them is false. The Nigerian Army and indeed all militaries have procedures and clearly established procedures for its daily administration including the deployment of troops and fighting a war.
“Moreover, formations and units deployed have clearly established chains of command, administration and logistics supply, support, replenishment and reinforcement.
“That the allegation that the Commander 707 Special Forces Brigade deployed 150 untrained soldiers at Gashigar only exist in the figment of Dr Ahmed’s imagination as there was no such deployment on the said date or location. It is equally not true that throughout the history of 707 Special Forces Brigade has suffered any number of casualties in any of its deployments across the country.
“As a matter of fact, they are proven to be game changers in the fight against terrorism and insurgency, as well as against bandits and armed militias in the north east, north west and north central parts of the country. The peace and security being enjoyed in Benue, Taraba and Niger States bears eloquent testimony to their wonderful exploits.
“That it is utterly untrue that 15 soldiers of the Nigerian Army are sharing a single room anywhere in the country let alone in Azare. Troops’ welfare has never been given utmost priority like what obtains under the present Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai. The facts are there for all to see and verify. For the avoidance of doubt, Azare barracks is one of the newly established barracks with modern amenities and facilities.
“That, contrary to Dr Idris Ahmed’s wild imagination, the Commander 707 Special Forces Brigade, is one of the best of the formation commanders of the Nigerian Army. He is brave, courageous, patriotic, honest and has the welfare of his troops at heart. It is precipitous and thoughtless of anybody to associate him with such unfounded allegations.
“It is therefore very callous and irresponsible of any person to imagine that senior officers of the Nigerian Army could treasonably connive with any terrorist or set up any soldier.
To this end, Nigerian Army has given Ahmed seven days to provide evidence to substantiate his allegation, or retract the false publication with an unreserved apologies or face legal action.