Theophilus Danjuma

Joy Ekeke

The recent report released by the Army board of enquiry set up to look into the allegations raised by Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, of soldiers colluding with armed militia in Taraba State has been commended by the Middle Belt Conscience Guard (MBCG).

The‎ group said the panel’s report which exonerated the army is in tandem with the widely held position of many other groups who carried out independent assessment of the situation.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, National Coordinator of MBCG, Prince Raymond Enero, said Danjuma should immediately re-secure his reputation by a remorseful retraction of the statement, with an apology to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Nigerian Army and the good people of Nigeria over his unjustifiable utterances.

According to him, it is clear that the cause of the vilification of the Nigerian Army and the attempt to taint its reputation by some stakeholders in Taraba State stemmed from the refusal of the Commanding Officer 93 Battalion, Lt. Col. Gambari to be dragged into the complex political and ethnic mix in the state by some powerful politicians in apparent abuse and violation of his professional duties or code of ethical conduct.

He said, “It is our firm conviction that all stakeholders in Taraba State should be cautioned against making inflammatory statements which have the potency to undermine, jeopardise or scuttle the efforts at peace and security to bring the communal clashes to a halt with the intervention of the Army.”

Enero said the the Probe Panel was manned by credible serving and retired Army officers; representatives of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and scores of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

According to him, “The probe panel did a wonderful and commendable job as evidenced by its detailed findings, recommendations and the verdict extricating the Nigerian Army of any complicity whether in whole or in part on any of the allegations raised by Gen. Danjuma or cohorts.

“The Panel’s report eloquently and articulately opined that there was no collusion with bandits by the Nigerian Army or any of its units operating in Taraba State, within the period covered by the allegations, as claimed by Gen. Danjuma. This is in tandem with the widely held position of many other groups who carried out independent assessment of the situation.”

A 10-Man Special Military Probe Panel constituted by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai, was inaugurated on April 9, 2018, specifically to investigate and establish the veracity or otherwise of the allegations by the elder statesman against the Nigerian Army.