The Nigerian Army absolved itself from an allegation of confiscation of community land for a proposed civil-military intervention project in Orolu Community in Osun. This contained in a statement by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig -Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Nwachukwu said that one Chief Babatunde Oyetunji, Eesa of Ifon, had in a statement alleged that the Nigerian Army had decided to forcefully acquire land for a proposed project in Orolu Community.
He said the allegations were entirely false, malicious and an effort by some vested interests to tarnish the good reputation of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and drag the name of the institution in the mud.
“The fact of the matter is that one of the lines of operations of the Nigerian army in tackling security challenges in the country is the Non-kinetic line of operations.
“It is a soft approach, aimed at winning the hearts and minds of the public through the instrumentality of Civil-Military Cooperation activities or programmes of the Nigerian Army.
“This effort, is fundamentally geared towards fostering cooperation and galvanising support of the civil populace for army’s diverse operations to mitigate security challenges across the country.
Hence, the Nigerian army usually executes special community intervention projects, such as hospitals, boreholes, electrification amongst others based on needs assessment, after consultations with the leadership of such communities, at the behest of senior officers, who hail from the benefiting community,” he said.
In this particular case, Nwachukwu said that a retired senior officer conceptualised an intervention project; a medical centre in the state.
He said the proposal had not even been formally forwarded to the Chief of Army staff for approval, adding that the Department of Civil-Military Affairs at the Army Headquarters was yet to receive requisite information to enable it initiate a comprehensive proposal for the project.
He explained that the army would not have in any way known which land belongs to who, since it was not yet involved in the process.
According to him, it is only when and if the request of the retired senior officer is forwarded to the Chief of Army Staff and is approved, that the Army can send a team to carry out due diligence on the project site and carry along all stakeholders in the process.
“Surprisingly, if the said project for which the COAS and the Nigerian army are being maligned sails through and is approved, it is a project that will benefit the civil populace and serve humanity, irrespective of community affiliation.
“The Nigerian Army hereby absolves itself of any involvement in an attempt to confiscate any community land.
“The Nigerian Army is a professional and law abiding institution that has always followed due process in all her intervention projects, so far undertaken.
“Therefore, members of the public are enjoined to discountenance the allegations and continue to support the Nigerian Army and its Kinetic and None kinetic operations across the country,” Nwachukwu said.