The Conference of Civil Society for Peace, Security and National Development has said the news the three hundred and fifty-six (356) soldiers reported in some sections of the media to have formally exited from the Nigerian Army citing “loss of interest” as reason were persons who either retired due to age or other factors as well as few who had gotten other offers.
The CSOs in a statement signed by its conveners, Comr. Mike Msuaan and Mallam Adamu Kabir Matazu regretted that what is apparently a routine in the military and other disciplines could be twisted to give a negative impression of the Army adding that it was the handiwork of enemies of Nigeria who are bent on sabotaging the gains being made in the war against insurgency, banditry and other security challenges in the country.
According to the CSOs, it is curious that the instigators of the story failed to report that the military had just concluded recruitment of several young and patriotic citizens but maliciously reported about the exit of personnel most of whom have reached retirement ages in a ridiculous manner to further their campaign of calumny against the military and its heads.
“Our interest in ensuring a secured and peaceful society makes us pay particular attention in the operations of the military. This is why we speak out when we notice infractions on their part and when persons and organisations with ulterior motives make unsubstantiated allegations against them.
“That an issue as serious as over 300 soldiers willingly disengaging from service in one swoop for a particular reason would mean that there an alliance and yet no source was quoted in the story but horridly concluded that ‘loss of interest’ was occasioned by poor leadership leaves much to be desired.
“Our scrupulous findings have revealed that there is a lot of propaganda being sponsored against the military and if we fail to inform the public correctly as civil society organisations, then perhaps the security establishment may be surrendered to persons who see security as a business.
“The military like other services carry out recruitment on a yearly basis just as personnels that have either reached retirement ages or may have gotten other opportunities in other disciplines are allowed to go. This is not peculiar with the military; it is a universal norm that is applicable to every endeavour of human engagement. However, it was reported as if those exiting were doing so because they were dissatisfied with the conditions of service”, the statement noted.
The CSOs also urged the Federal Government to be alive to the antics of persons whose only duty is to malign the military and its chiefs in a bid to ensure their sack not minding the headway that is being made.
“Let it be known that our interest is not in who heads the various security outfits. Our interest is in the security and peace of the Nigerian society which should be paramount on the minds of all well-meaning citizens. The military is doing everything within the resources available to it to end insecurity and should be supported to achieve this all important task”, the CSOs added.