Counter-insurgency Operations: Our Commander Didn't Send Petition To The President – Nigerian Army
SAN FRANCISCO, December 26, (THEWILL) – The Nigerian Army stated on Thursday that the controversial petition purportedly sent by the Commanding Officer of the 103 Battalion, Lt. Col Anthony Wende, to President Goodluck Jonathan on the futility of the counter insurgency operations in the North East did not originate from the Commander.
The online news media had been awash with the petition purportedly written by Wende, alleging that corruption had been the bane of the counter-insurgency operations in the Northeast.
The petition also listed inadequate weapons as one of the reasons for the inability of the Army to achieve the expected results in the ongoing anti-terror campaign.
But absolving the Army of having anything to do with the petition at a media briefing in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Col. Sani Usman, said the Nigerian Army had thoroughly investigated the petition and confirmed that the petition did not originate from Wende .
According to Usman, “The petition was carefully studied and investigated by the Nigerian Army and as part of this process; forensic analysis by relevant security agencies was carried out.”
“It was discovered that the allegations were spurious and baseless as the Commanding Officer had nothing to do with the petition. He is therefore been exonerated.”
The spokesman of the Army 7 Division however alleged that the petition was aimed at distracting the Army from its counter-terrorism campaign.
“We wish to categorically state that the petition is the handiwork of mischief-makers aimed at distracting 7 Division and indeed the Nigerian Army from its determined efforts at fighting insurgency and terrorism in this nation to a logical and successful conclusion,” Usman said.
According to him, “You will recall that the officer's unit currently plays a vital role in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria. Under his command, the unit, along with others, has been able to deny the terrorists freedom of action within their area of operations.
“It is out of sheer mischief therefore that someone is trying to ensure that the name of this gallant officer is smeared for inconceivable reasons.”
The Commanding Officer of the 7 Division, Wende, who was also present at the media briefing, maintained that the petition did not originate from him even as he dismissed the report that he was already being threatened by the Army High Command because of the controversial petition.