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Published On: Thu, Dec 25th, 2014

Insurgency: Army exonerates commander over letter to Jonathan

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From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri

Chief-of-Army-Staff-General-Kenneth-MinimahThe Nigerian Army yesterday exonerated the Commanding Officer of the 103 Battalion, Lt. Col. Anthony Wende over a purported petition written to President Goodluck Jonathan on the counter-insurgency operations in the North-East.

Some online medium had recently reported that a letter was written by the commanding officer to the president alleging corruption and that the military did not have the requisite weapon to prosecute the current counter insurgency war against the Boko Haram insurgents.

Speaking at press briefing held at the Headquarters of the 7 Division in Maiduguri, Deputy Director Army Public Relations of the division, Col. Sani Usman said the Nigerian army has investigated the petition and discovered that the officer is not the author of the letter.

“The petition was carefully studied and investigated by the Nigerian Army and as part of this process; forensic analysis by relevant security agencies was carried out. It was discovered that the allegations were spurious and baseless as the commanding officer had nothing to do with the petition. He is therefore been exonerated,” the army spokesman said.

Col. Usman added that petition was aimed at distracting the army from its fight against terrorism in the country.

“We wish to categorically state that the petition is the handwork of mischief-makers aimed at distracting 7 Division and indeed the Nigerian Army from its determined efforts at fighting insurgency and terrorism in this nation to a logical and successful conclusion.

“You will recall that the officer’s unit currently plays a vital role in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria. Under his command the unit along with others has been able to deny the terrorists freedom of action within their area of operations.

It is out of sheer mischief therefore that someone is trying to ensure that the name of this gallant officer is smeared for inconceivable reasons,” the army spokesman added.

The officer, who also attended the press briefing, denied ever writing the letter and also denied the report that he was being threatened by the army authority.

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