The Nigerian Army has dismissed the claims made by ex-military personnel, Trooper Ahunanya, in an interview he recently granted which has since gone viral on social media platforms.
In a statement by the Director of Army Public Relations, Onyema Nwachukwu, on Wednesday titled,’ Beware of Trooper Temple Ahunanya’s antics to defraud innocent citizens,’ Ahunanya was arrested in 2014, tried and dismissed for conduct prejudicial to military discipline and cowardice.
The statement read in part, “The Nigerian Army has taken cognisance of a video clip currently making the rounds on the social media, where one dismissed Trooper Temple Ahunanya narrated a concocted story of how he was arrested, tried and sentenced to death for requesting better weapons to fight Boko Haram Insurgents.
“Considering the enormous danger posed by this dismissed soldier to the public, it is crucial to set the record straight and alert Nigerians to beware of his criminal antics, aimed at defrauding members of the general public.
“It is important for the public to note that the dismissed Trooper Ahunanya was enlisted in the Nigerian Army on the 20th of August 2012, and passed out from training on the 17th of December of the same year.
The army spokesperson continued, “He was arrested in 2014, tried and dismissed for conduct prejudicial to military discipline and cowardice. He was convicted but escaped while awaiting the Army Council’s approval of his verdict. This singular act portrays a tendency for evasion of justice and criminality.”
Nwachukwu further revealed that while Ahunanya was in service, he was an indisciplined soldier.
“While in service, Ahunanya was rude, indisciplined, criminally-minded and a very uncultured individual, who failed to imbibe the basic ethics and regimentation of the military profession. His unpatriotic and cowardly tendencies manifested when he was deployed for a mission to counter Boko Haram Terrorists’ attack and save the lives of innocent Nigerians, in so doing.
“However, against extant military laws, the dismissed soldier disobeyed and led other cowardly soldiers to disobey duly constituted authority. This is evidently an attempt to financially hoodwink members of the public. Please be warned. ”
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Onyema also berated him on the comparison made between the weapons used by the terrorists and the soldiers.
He added, “On the issues raised concerning the efficacy of weapons and their effective ranges, it is important to state that the Nigerian Army is an organized Army that conforms with the dictates of International Laws of Armed Conflict and institutionalized Order of Battle.
“Our troops are not terrorists or insurgents who could use all manner of unlawful and unconventional arms. The Nigerian Army operates, following universally accepted doctrines and Order of Battle. Our troops are better trained, equipped and professional in the conduct of campaigns and operations.
“Therefore, it is surprising that Ahunaya compared a group of misguided elements operating under the influence of drugs and twisted ideologies to Nigerian Army troops. ”
Nwachukwu further chided the media organization through which the interview was published.
He said, “It is also sad and unfortunate that a respected media organisation would publish and promote such distorted narratives without recourse to the authorities of the Nigerian Army. These actions are undoubtedly calculated attempts to denigrate the Nigerian Army and undermine the sacrifices of patriotic troops, who are working tirelessly to restore peace and stability across the country.
“It must also be pointed out, that while the military is very much receptive to constructive criticism, it should not be perceived as an opportunity for promoting demeaning and vilifying media contents that have the potential to embolden criminals and dampen the troops’ morale.
“Suffice to reiterate that the psychological impact of misinformation and fake news is grievous and inimical to national security. Organised media are critical stakeholders in promoting national security and should therefore not allow unscrupulous elements to take undue advantage of them. Again, the general public is hereby warned not to fall for Afunaya’s gimmicks, as it is an attempt to defraud innocent Nigerians.”