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Nigeria Army says ‘soldiers’ in trending video are political thugs

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Nigeria Army said the persons seen in a trending video dressed in military uniforms are political thugs and not personnel of the Nigeria military.

“Credible intelligence available to the Nigerian Army (NA) has confirmed the kitting of political thugs with military uniforms and arming of same, to impersonate soldiers and perpetrate various crimes in the furtherance of the activities of their political bosses,” Nigeria Army spokesman Sagir Musa said in a statement.

During the governorship and houses of assembly elections in Nigeria on Saturday, March 9, about four men dressed in Nigeria Army uniforms were captured in a video disrupting elections in an unnamed polling unit.

Some persons believe the supposed military personnel were acting in obedience to the authority of the Nigeria Army.

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But the army said, “Sadly, these thugs have severally been wrongly viewed and addressed as real military personnel on various social and mainstream media channels including blogs, chat rooms and messaging platforms thereby bringing the reputation of the NA on several occasions to disrepute.”

The army spokesman stated that the misconceptions of the military being partisan during the election was because most civilians might not be able to differentiate between a genuine soldier and an impersonator. He said the army had commenced an investigation to ensure their arrest.

He appealed to Nigerians with useful information of the suspected impostors/armed thugs being used to perpetrate violence in the society to inform the army without fear as such information would be treated with the highest level of confidentiality.

Musa advised well-meaning citizens to avoid being used as tools in the hands of politicians, who would go to any immoral length, including violence to steal the mandate of the people as “Nobody’s selfish ambition is worth the life of an innocent Nigerian citizen”.

The army spokesman said the Nigeria military remains “apolitical, neutral and non-partisan stance.” He continued that “The NA would continue to execute its constitutional responsibilities of providing aid to civil authorities in order to create a safe and secure environment where real democratic processes would thrive.”


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