The Nigerian Army has denied recruiting repentant terrorists into its fold, saying there was no need as the country has able-bodied youths willing to join it.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Onyema Nwahuckwu, the military said it was reacting to a video circulated on social media by one Young Elder and produced by Anthony Jay which related the collapse of the Afghanistan military to the surrender of Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria.
Aside the clip being circulated, there are reports in some quarters that the military were enlisting repentant Boko Haram members into the organization.
“While it is understood that the situation in Afghanistan calls for concerns by any right thinking person or organisation, the manner in which the comic Young Elder presented it shows his lack of basic knowledge on the subject he hurriedly delved into,” Mr Nwachukwu said. “The amateurish production conjured some unfounded and baseless claims that only exist in the pigment of their imagination, claiming that surrendered terrorists where going to be absorbed into the Nigerian Army (NA).
“For the avoidance of doubt, the NA does not have any repentant terrorists joining its ranks and does not have any plan for that. There are teaming able-bodied Nigerians that are willing to join the NA and genuinely help in the fight against terrorism and other violent crimes. The NA therefore is not desperate for prospective recruits to stoop so low and engage the services of former terrorists. As a general rule, it is not even recommended to absorb former fighters into the services of a regular military.
“The NA wish to state that the campaign of falsehood embarked upon by some individuals who do not wish the nation well cannot distract its personnel from their resolve to bring an end to the violent crimes in the country. We wish to reiterate that the NA under the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya will continue to operate within the dictates of the law. Surrendered terrorists will be received, processed and passed to the appropriate Government agencies that are saddled with the responsibility of handling them.
“While we recommend that matters related to security be left with those who have the requisite expertise and experience, we wish to remind comic characters like Young Elder to focus on contributing towards nation building and not engaging in campaign of falsehood,” he advised.