By Ayo Dada
The Nigerian Army on Wednesday said that it did not receive any information on the abduction of the prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence, Samuel Kanu Uche, after he was abducted by gunmen on Sunday.
This was contained in a statement made available to the media in Abuja by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Onyema Nwachukwu,
The statement explained that its troops were deployed at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Okigwe and in front of the Abia State University Uturu, insisting that no information was made available to the troops.
It further condemned the allegation of complicity levelled against the troops in the abduction of the Methodist Church Prelate.
The clergyman, who regained freedom on Monday, said that his abductors were paid the sum of N100 million as ransom to secure his release from captivity.
The prelate, while speaking at a press conference in Lagos, on Tuesday, said that neither the federal, state governments nor even the security operatives made efforts to secure his release.
However, the army, while reacting to the allegation, said: “The Nigerian Army (NA) has been notified of the insinuation making the rounds on social media, alleging complicity of troops of the Nigerian Army in the kidnap incident of the Methodist Prelate in Abia state recently.
“While the Nigerian Army expresses concern and sympathy for the victim of this heinous crime and shares in his pains, the insinuation that troops are complicit in the kidnap incident is not entirely premised on any findings of investigations and therefore cannot be swallowed hook line and sinker. This allegation, therefore, raises some pertinent questions which are still unanswered.
“Given, the spate of insecurity in the region, the question would be, was the issue reported to the unit covering the area? Did the Methodist Church take the NA into confidence while negotiating the ransom with the kidnappers? No formal complaint has been received by the unit. More worrisome is the fact that it was alleged that the ransom was paid in less than 24 hours. Was the ransom paid to troops? These are questions that beg for answers.
“Moreso, the NA unit, has not received any debrief from the Prelate of the Methodist Church. It is, therefore, important to state that troops are deployed at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Okigwe and in front of the Abia State University Uturu and no information was made available to them or to 14 Brigade or any other formation, except the information making the rounds in the social media,” Nwachukwu stated
The army spokesperson added that the troops’ deployment in the Nigerian Army “is not done with considerations for ethnic affiliation, hence the deployment of troops of Fulani ethnic extraction who as alleged by the Prelate, carried out the dastardly act is not our practice or modus operandi in the NA.
“Given our professional disposition and zero tolerance for any misconduct in the Nigerian Army, we will take this weighty allegation seriously and approach the Prelate and the Methodist church to unravel the basis for the allegation.”
Mataz Arising had early on Wednesady June 1, 2022 reported that His Eminence Reverend Kanu Uche accused Nigerian soldiers of Fulani extraction when he said that,
“I told them we will raise the money for you. But the irony of it, where they were situated, the soldiers all of Fulani extraction, Nigerian soldiers, they were there at Lomara junction and these boys were going behind them. Meanwhile they kept their cows somewhere, numbering about 200.”
The kidnap incident took place between 8pm and 11.30pm, the name of the location of the soldiers was Lomara junction. So, since the Nigerian Military asked the victims some questions, on behalf of the Prolete and the other victims, the Nigerian people will like to ask the military 3 questions of their own.
1, Is it true that on the said date, there were soldiers of Fulani extraction at the said location (Lomara Junction area?)
2. If yes, were they Fulani? What are their names? Who was the most senior officer? What batallion or unit were they from? Were they there as alleged, and who gave the order for them to be there?
3. Who were those involved in the army’s investigation, are they Igbo or Yoruba, and who was in charge?
In reading the denial statement by the Nigerian military, it is noteworthy that it was wasn’t clear whether their men were around the area where the kidnap took place.
The question posed by the military, that, “given the spate of insecurity, was the issue reported to the unit covering the area? Did the Methodist Church take the NA into confidence while negotiating the ransom with the kidnappers? No formal complaint has been received by the unit. More worrisome is the fact that it was alleged that the ransom was paid in less than 24 hours. Was the ransom paid to troops?“
These questions are disingenuous because not only were the victims warned not to contact any security/law enforcement agency, we all know what happen to victims who contact the such agencies in situations like these. Also, how can they report to the army with the experience they had with soldiers they saw while being kidnapped, who did nothing to rescue them during the ordeal, who according to the Prelate appeared to be in connivance with the kidnappers. That is like signing your own death warrant.
If anything, the face saving statement by the military has not allayed the fears and suspicions of many Nigerians who believe that these Fulani kidnappers have infiltrated their ranks, instead, it adds to it. One would have thought and expected the military to have a proper investigation of the allegation as a matter of urgency before rushing to the press to issue a less than convincing statement.
The jury is out there.
- Lagos, Abuja demolitions: Ohanaeze kicks
- Economic Downturn And The Blame Game
- Alleged money laundering: ‘We airlifted N1.219bn to Fayose for 2014 election’ – Obanikoro
- Pure falsehood – Fani-Kayode slams Oba of Benin, others over Lagos origin
- Oyedepo Issues Warning To Son After Establishing Own Ministry
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER NOW
TEXT AD: To advertise here – Email email@example.com