The Nigerian Army has refuted what he termed a ‘malicious’ story credited to the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) where the body alleged that there is a military build-up around Gelegele community in Ovia North-East Local Government of Edo State. The body had alleged that the intention of the purported military build up was to ignite crisis, which the Army has denied, assuring the people in the communities of peace.
According to the statement released by the Acting Director Army Public Relations Colonel Sagir Musa, on Friday, the Nigerian Army urged the people of the community to disregard the claims the IYC, saying:
“While the Nigerian Army represented by 4 Brigade in the area is not willing to join issues with the author. It is, however, essential to state that as professional Army, it would not be involved in any form of land dispute or conflict with law-abiding members of Gelegele Community or any other community in Nigeria” he said.
Colonel Sagir Musa stating further said:
“For clarity, the troops deployed to Gelegele Community have been there since 2011 for the protection of critical infrastructure and to effectively checkmate militancy in the area. Furthermore, the troops in the area are not under the operational command and control of 4 Brigade as claimed, but are under the command of Operation DELTA SAFE. Consequently, the allegation that the Brigade Commander is involved in the deployment of troops or invasion of Gelegele locality is false and should be disregarded by the public and members of the community.
The Nigerian Army under the leadership of Lt Gen TY Buratai will not condone the harassment of law-abiding individuals or groups, talk less of grabbing land belonging to any community anywhere in Nigeria.
The Brigade is however mandated to remain firm, fair and not to be deterred from decisively fighting criminal
elements in the State.
The Brigade will also continue to live peacefully with all law-abiding communities in its Area of Responsibility.
Members of the public are hereby enjoined to continue to cooperate with security agencies by giving credible information on criminal elements and activities in their midst for necessary action.”