Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
A group under the aegis of Middle Belt Conscience Guard has commended the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, over the setting up of a panel of inquiry to investigate allegations made by a former Minister of Defence, Lt-General T.Y. Danjuma, on the farmers/herders clashes in some parts of the country.
It said the composition of the panel by the army chief was a confirmation of the professionalism and discipline the current leadership of the army has displayed over time and his determination not to spare any personnel found to have compromised in their services to the country.
The National Convener of the group, Prince Raymond Enero, while addressing a press briefing yesterday in Abuja expressed satisfaction that the panel is chaired by retired Maj-Gen. John Nimyel, and other eminently qualified persons who have no individual attachment or hold any sentiments prior to its constitution.
Enero however, warned that all precautions necessary must be taken to insulate the panel from undue interference and influence that could jeopardise its objectivity and ability to uncover the truth as intended.
He said the group has noted that certain individuals have initiated moves to hamstring the panel or corral it into returning a damning verdict against troops.
He said: â€œGiven the track record of the army under the present leadership of Buratai and its strict adherence to rules of engagement that conform to international standards, it is inconceivable that troops deployed to safeguard life would be involved in wanton destruction of same.
â€œConversely, it is equally inconceivable that an elder would brazenly lie in the twilight of his life irrespective of what is at stake. It was therefore pertinent that the truth is established so that Nigerians can decide what is to follow.â€
Enero urged Nigerians, particularly opinion leaders, not to inflame the polity by unduly politicizing sensitive security issues, stressing that politics should be played in the arena of politicking while the safety of citizens must not be pawned to gain political mileage.