The Aku Uka of Wukari and Chairman, Taraba State Council of Chiefs, Dr. Shekarau Angyu, yesterday urged the army panel probing retired Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma’s allegations of armed forces collusion with bandits to come up with a report that would help in restoring the lost image of the military. The monarch made the call when he hosted the panel in his palace in Wukari, Taraba State.
New Telegraph reports that Danjuma had recently accused the armed forces of colluding with bandits to kill Nigerians, urging people to rise up and defend themselves.
The Aku Uka, who thanked the military leadership for setting up the panel, noted that it was no longer news that Nigerians had lost confidence in the military.
He said: “It is a known fact that citizens of Nigeria have lost confidence in the military in spite of their track record of successful peace missions in other parts of the world.
“I want to remind you members of the panel that Nigerians who are crying for justice are expecting much from you, so also, the armed forces are looking up to your report to help them restore citizens’ confidence in them. “As umpire, Nigerians expect you to be just and fair in your assignment and only a fair, just and transparent report of your panel can restore the lost image of the military.”
Adviser to Aku Uka on Media and Legal Matters, Mr. Danjuma Adamu, while presenting the position of Wukari Traditional Council before the panel, said the army exercise, Ayem Akpatuma, had not met the expectations of the people. He cited several cases of alleged military complicity on several occasions when its personnel deployed in conflict areas had failed to act in the defense of the farming communities.
According to him, on October 19, 2015, armed Fulani militia attacked Sondi in Kente District killing 30 people, adding that residents of the village alleged that soldiers deployed in the area even aided the militia. He went on: “On April 10, Gbeji was attacked and five people were killed and on the same day Sontyo village was attacked by herdsmen, who took over the village and are grazing there as their permanent abode.
“The following day April 11, herdsmen attacked Jandeikyula village killing over 25 people when exercise Cat Race is still in place.
“On the whole, 200 people have been killed between April 2013 to date, 401 villages destroyed, thousands wounded or maimed and farmlands destroyed”. The Wukari council, however, appealed to the Federal Government to give the crisis the seriousness it deserved.
In his comments, Chairman of Wukari Local Government Council, Daniel Adi, also cited instances where the army allegedly failed to defend victims of herdsmen attacks. Earlier, retired Major- General Joseph Nimyel had sympathised with the Aku Uka over the loss of lives and destruction of property as a result of a series of crisis in the area.
The chairman told the monarch that they were in the state as an independent panel to investigate allegations of collusion leveled against the military by Danjuma and others.
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