Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja
The Nigerian military yesterday alleged that a member of Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative (PCNI), Dr. Sidi Mohammed, who claimed that members of the deadly terrorist group, Boko Haram earn more allowances than the Nigerian soldiers, is a sympathiser of the group.
The military alleged that the deadly activities of Boko Haram terrorism was being “aided and abetted by sympathisers such as Dr. Sidi Ali Mohammed.’’
Mohammed was quoted as saying that “I will give you an example. The Nigerian military, for example, gets N1, 000 per day for being in the North-east, at the war front, as an allowance. In the same North-east, if you are a member of Boko Haram you get $3,000 per day, as allowance. So, it is lucrative.
“Sometimes they even give you money upfront. So we must do something about the youths from where they are recruiting,” Mohammed was quoted as saying.
However, in a statement issued Wednesday by the spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Col. Sagir Musa, the army described Mohammed’s claim as unfounded.
Musa revealed that “steps are being taken to formally report him to the appropriate authorities to further substantiate these unfounded allegations.’’
The army’s spokesman said Mohammed’s claim “is not true, pure lie and highly irresponsible comment coming from a supposedly knowledgeable person of his calibre.’’
According to the statement, “in it, he alleged that the criminal terrorist group members earn as much as $3,000 daily, as against the Nigerian soldier who is paid N1, 000 only. This is not true, pure lie and highly irresponsible comment coming from a supposedly knowledgeable person of his calibre.
“It is also criminal and preposterous to compare the gallant soldiers of our Armed Forces with the rag tag terrorists’ criminal gang. Indeed, there is no such basis at all between the outlawed criminal terrorist who commits crime against humanity and our highly patriotic, courageous and brave soldiers whose sacrifice cannot be quantified.’’
Musa added that over time, the army had been alerting the world that the menace of Boko Haram terrorism was being “aided and abetted by sympathisers such as Dr. Sidi Ali Mohammed.’’
“He must have been associated with the terrorists’ group beyond what he may want the public to know for having the knowledge of how much a terrorist earns per day to commit atrocities against fellow Nigerians and other innocent people including women and children.’’
The army spokesman alleged that Mohammed’s statement could be part of a deliberate attempt to demoralise patriotic troops serving their fatherland so that the terrorists can take advantage of it.
“It is also a way of swaying the gullible youths to believe the lies of Boko Haram terrorists as being peddled by him. And no amount of distraction or terrorists’ propaganda will dissuade it,” Musa said.c