Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Army has denied having a hand in the alleged abduction of a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Bibi Oweifa, in Bayelsa State.
The army said its troops deployed for internal security operations do not engage in partisan politics as the rules of engagement for such operations are clearly spelt out before they are deployed.
It said its fight against pipeline vandalism and other forms of criminality in the Niger Delta is yielding positive result that can be attested to by the relative peace enjoyed in the area.
Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Texas Chukwu, who made this known in a statement, described the alleged abduction as untrue and capable of misleading the public and maligning the reputation and the good image of the Nigerian Army. He, therefore, urged the public to disregard the report.
“The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a publication in the media alleging an involvement of Army personnel in the abduction of a politician in Bayelsa state. In the said story, the report stated inter alia that ‘the All Progressives Congress Bayelsa State chapter, accused the Nigerian Army of complicity in the recent abduction of one of the chieftains of PDP, Mr. Bibi Oweifa, less than 48 hours to his planned defection to APC.
“The Nigerian Army wishes to state categorically that the allegation is not only untrue but capable of misleading the public as well as maligning the reputation and the good image of the Nigerian Army.
“Contrary to the report and to put the records in the proper perspective, the Nigerian Army wishes to state that troops deployed for internal security operations in Bayelsa State and its environs do not involved in partisan politics. Also, no soldier was involved in the alleged abduction as the rules of engagement for soldiers deployed in internal security operations are clearly spelt out.
“Consequently, the Nigerian Army wishes to state the fight against pipeline vandalism and other forms of criminality in the Niger Delta is yielding positive result.”